Archive for the ‘Meds’ Category

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Diagnosis: Help or Hindrance?

November 22, 2011

I’m writing this by popular request of twitter.

Often people question whether a mental health diagnosis is a good thing. Personally I think it is a good thing aslong as it isn’t misdiagnosis and has been well thought out. To treat an illness you must first know what it is. Unlike many with a BPD diagnosis I was relieved when I was told what was wrong because I already had my suspicions. It meant I had a name to my “crazy” behaviour and could work on conquering. If you use your diagnosis constructively, it can work for you not against you. The only scary diagnosis should be one you haven’t heard of before. Because knowledge is power. Knowing what an illness is and how to fight it is the key to recovery.

On the other side being diagnosed with a mental health problem can mean that stigma is suddenly chasing you like a wild dog but then the only difference between you before diagnosis and after is that someone has told you what is wrong. Whether you are told what you have, not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

A diagnosis of a mental illness can sometimes feel daunting and scary and can often worsen symptoms because, hell, nobody wants to be ill. My dad will often use his diagnosis as a crutch by saying “But I can’t do that, I’m Bipolar aren’t I?” he’s someone who blindly follows the doctors and hopes the pills will make him better. He doesn’t actively take part in improving his mental health or changing his situation. So for someone like my dad, it probably wouldn’t matter what diagnosis he had, he would take the pills and be on his way.

It depends how you approach it. But it shouldn’t leave you feeling hopeless. It should leave you feel that there is hope. No, there isn’t always a way to “cure” it but there are ways of coping with it. When you get a mental illness diagnosis, don’t think it’s the end. It’s the beginning of a rocky path to a stable future.

Once people become less ignorant about mental illness, I know that a diagnosis will seem less scary. There will be less of a worry that other people will judge you and be scared of you. When there is more acceptance of mental health problems in society, more people will feel comfortable with getting that all important diagnosis.

I think one of the real problems is self diagnosis, once you’ve been diagnosed with one thing you can start thinking but I’m also this and this Oh! and this one. But generally recovering from your main diagnosis or controlling the symptoms of it will probably control the other attributes you’d find in other illness too. The main diagnosis is the important one and will usually take the others with it. Multiple diagnosis isn’t uncommon but then mental illnesses don’t like to be alone. I’d say I have Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet I just say I have BPD because the social anxiety and PTSD are part of my BPD. Don’t cover yourself in diagnosis. You may have many diagnoses but there will always be one that sticks out and that has to be focused on first.

So that’s my two cents. I think it’s a help, but what do you think?

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Doomed before the beginning.

February 5, 2011

Do you ever feel like your background dooms you to a life of misery and failure?

In my family only one person (not including me) is in a happy relationship, however this is her second marriage. Not one person is my family has gotten it right first time and except this one person the rest are single and my parents are unhappily married. I feel like my relationship is doomed before we’re even married. With such an unhappy family and with the issues running throughout, I feel like my happiness is only an illusion to keep me going and that something has got to kill us before we get too happy. The fact that the majority of my family are over 50 and single and never had any parteners in the last 18 years makes me wonder what the future holds for me. I often wonder if I mistake my severe neediness for love which results in panic attacks due to the thought of not actually being able to love how normal people do. I then feel severe guilt for stringing J along because I don’t really know how to love. These awful thoughts and panic attacks really mess with our relationship and with my head. I love J. But my head doesn’t want me to, my head wants me to be alone so I don’t have to ever have conflict or become an independent adult in the outside world. My head wants me to hide away and be alone. My heart wants to marry J and start a new life and leave the past behind.

The problem is following my heart over my head. Because every now and then my head wants me dead.

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Dr L part 4: Not much to report.

October 20, 2010

I think if I tell you about every session with Dr L it will only get you terribly repetitive. We talked about my fear of recovery affecting my writing, she reassured me that recovery is the key to real life changing writing. That my writing won’t dissapear because I can’t write about being ill but it will give so much more to write about. I told her about how I called a friend about a problem I was having and she had a grin on her face (I have dependency problems and only really go to my boyfriend about my issues). I don’t know…I don’t feel that CBT after only 4 sessions can suddenly have a big change on my life so I don’t want to think of it that way as we haven’t have enough time to really work through things thouroughly enough. I’ll just see them as random acts that I chose to do on my ways to recovery- which is fricking terrifying.

Now after my appointment my dad’s psych arranged an appointment for him straight after which I attended. His CPN, B, was also there. B knows me well as I’m always there when he comes to see dad. I recognised Dr G and wonder if she had some role in my childhood like my psych Dr SJS, I mean the receptionist welcomes my dad by first name when he comes in. Anyway, this was all to do with my dad’s increased anxiety and restlessness and they came to the conclusion to remove the Citilopram and carry on with sodium valporate and risperidone. So if he’s down in the next week I’ll know why. I think I fear Mania and Psychosis more than Depression and B is going to be coming over every now and then to see how things are. Then we spoke about the MH social groups dad attends and how they are now making people pay if they have over a certain amount of income. Unlucky for dad he’s just got an endowment through and the mortgage is already paid so now he is above the limit of money and would have to pay £35 a week to go to his groups. What a joke. According to the bank, the benefits dad’s getting right now means that all his money will be gone in 5 years. This is before any cuts. So he may be losing a social group, which is so beneficial and all because he has money and doesn’t want to pay £35 a week because of household bills already eating £400 a month of his money. Is anyone really winning with this?

Anyway, Dr G said that apparently if you’ve been hospitalised and classified as section 3 then you can get it free whatever money you earn but dad had only been section 2. So dad mimicked strangling me and we all laughed…I felt a little uncomfortable though.

The things you have to find funny when your life is crap, eh? So basically…dad’s being taken off anti D’s and he’s too rich and not crazy enough to have free socialisation …Hm.

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Psychiatrist appointment of the month…

October 7, 2010

Dr SJS as always was lovely, he warned me that there was going to be someone else there today and I didn’t mind she seemed nice. I was asked to tell her about my childhood experiences and the repercussions that ended in me being under the mental health act, I felt slightly important. I liked that when he waslked in he said “I’ve known her since she was a baby.” And he has because of he was my dad’s psychiatrist when he was hospitalised, go figure. It made me feel like his special patient and more important and with BPD feeling like the only one is vital. You want to feel like the most important patient your psych has or even imagine that they don’t see anyone else. Well I don’t anyway because I”m not good at sharing people I like. But anyway, that was a good start, I spoke about my appointments with Dr L and how they were going well and that I liked her and the way we were working, I had to show him my scars as usual and he just smiled and nodded, as if expected because I always have something to show him. He spoke about my risperidone and how it was going, asking if I need another prescription which I don’t I’ve only taken 7 in the past month and had 28 to begin with. He, again warned about the side effects of taking too much and that I can take more than one in need but to be careful of weight gain and that too many will make me inflate and may even mimic pregnancy that I lose my menstral cycle. But that is 10 times the dose I’m on but a warning nonetheless, his ways to stop me overdosing are to tell me I’ll get fat. Clever man. He talked about me escalating and that I am grounded for now because I’m nothing like Angelina Jolie and Britney spears who he described as chaotic borderline. I didn’t tell him I adore Angelina incase he thought I would mimic her “narcissism.” He said that to be a narcissistic borderline you’re usually famous and talented. Obviously my thought was “Are you saying I’m not talented?” but I recognise these silly thoughts now and brush them off, he wasn’t saying that. I would hate to be famous anyway, being the centre of attention is my idea of hell.

I think he was trying to show off a bit to the trainee psychiatrist, he is a brilliant doctor and I trsut him with my life because he’s helped my dad and I can’t thank him enough for that. He is a show off though. A little narcissistic 😉 I got the question again “is life worth living” and he put me in a good mood so I just said “I guess” as usual. He didn’t ask me why it was worth living this time though, I think it’s because he actually believed me this time. Apparently I’m going to have to have blood tests every now and then because of my meds and they ALWAYS want your left arm, conviniently the one that’s most deformed. When you’re feeling like you’re going insane the last thing you want to think is “I have a blood test, I better not”. I’m seeing Dr L for my third CBT next wednesday…I’m anxious to move forward.

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Splitting, Dying and Risperidone.

October 6, 2010

Don’t worry guys I’m not dying, It all fits in with my 2nd CBT session which I forgot to write about, oops. Well last Tuesday I wrote a post about some horrible nostalgia I was feeling, it ended in a full blown panic attack of self harm, tears and feeling like I was really dying. The feelings I had inside of me of such panic and fear make me feel like it was really the end. I was sure I was going to die right then and there, one stupid thing I didn’t think was to take my medication, I was in such a state I forgot I even had them and since then I’ve been taking them everyday (they are to take when needed) because the initial panic attack causes days of anxiety to follow. I can’t explain how it feels but I thought “feeling like this makes me want to die”, it’s so painful, so frightening it seems like there is no way out. It now reminds me of a song by a friend of mine, let me share some words with you to explain:

“Familiar claws pierce into my skin as the rush of fear overwhelms me, I am alone, I am torn open again.”

“You watch me slowly unravel to the floor as the world stops turning, Fragments borne of the shattered self too small to piece back together again.

Through the hazy mist of tears hasty glances, Walking by now rustling papers to drown out the sound of the girl going crazy and losing the will to live.”

My biggest fear is losing love. So any small kink in my relationship sends me into a fearful frenzy because I know that if it ended then I wouldn’t last very long. I know it sounds extreme but to feel that panic and fear  is unbearable even for a minute let alone months even years. The last time I had a panic attack this bad I ended up in hospital and was told I would be put on the psych ward but of course they didn’t have any space so sent me home, suicidal and unsafe. I think from experience I know that the feeling of the attack did dissapear so I think that knowledge is what kept me going through this one. And sleeping, sleeping definately saved me. Fortunately I had a CBT appointment the next morning, I was in shaking, sweating and when I sat down I couldn’t keep myself from rocking to calm the nausea. Dr L got me some water and put the bin next to me incase I was feeling sick and I explained how I felt and why I felt that way. She didn’t make it the same as the first CBT session because she could tell I was in a bad way. She took a while teaching me breathing exercises to calm my breathing which reduced my heart rate by about ten beats per minute but still very high nontheless. I spoke to her about my nerves about J’s birthday and how I was worried about him turning 18 and going off into the world without me. Once again she weighed up evidence for and against my fears and made me feel safer. One thing that surprised me was that she picked up on some serious splitting and impulsivity within what I was saying and I didn’t even notice it. Acting upon these bad feelings immediately and either self harming, trying to kill myself or ending my relationship for some unknown reason just felt like a way to release the bad feelings, I didn’t notice the trademark BPD impulsivity. I saw my BPD traits as the self harm and the tantrums, I knew I had impulsivity and splitting but not to such an extent she made me realise. She explained how what I was telling her all seemed very black and white and I just couldn’t believe I’d never noticed how black and white it really was. I would never give myself a middle ground. It’s either feel this way forever or die. Get mad at boyfriend, immediately leave him. There’s no thinking through, no middle ground, I was shocked. I’d never felt so borderline in my life! I’m grateful for Dr L she helps me see things I don’t even notice. I must admit though from past experience I have started being less impulsive and recognising that feelings will pass and things will be okay. Thinking things through has become a small habit, I only do it when It’s life or death but I guess it’s a start and the best possible time. 

I explained how CAMHS had dealt with these attacks so she had an understanding of how terrible it’d been handled before. The structure that is within CBT is so reassuring. I left there feeling a little nauseous but less so, I felt a lot better. The guilt I have from having these feelings makes everything worse. I feel guilty for having BPD and feeling how I do, yet I don’t feel in control of my own feelings most of them time. Feeling guilt over something that isn’t your fault I feel is such a big problem with Mental Illness because other people blame you for the things you cannot control.

Since all of this I’ve had to take my risperidone regularly which I’m a little worried about because my psychiatrist said it may make me obese, lovely. I don’t know when the anxiety will fade but hopefully it’ll be soon. From experience these attacks don’t happen to close to eachother even though I hope each time I’ll never have another. I have noticed a difference this time though, I’ve never had meds to help me through and now I do.

Well that was my update for now, It shows I’m feeling better because I’m able to write again. Keep going. Savannah xx

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“You know your diagnosis?” “Yeah, BPD.” “Exactly.”

September 5, 2010

 

When I was first told I had BPD I was sort of happy, it wasn’t bipolar or anything that meant psychosis could be on the agenda…but since then I’ve realised that I’ve been given one of the worst diagnoses and not because of the BPD itself but because of the stigma and views on BPD.

Now I think, if i had a mental illness that people could accept then my difficulties in everyday life and pain could be more understood by others. But then when Dr SJS says that he’s worried about me having bipolar my heart sinks. Sometimes I’ll be watching tv and it’ll pop into my head, “you have a mental illness, good luck with this one”.

I think the trouble with BPD is that all our coping techniques are learned and we have to unlearn them whereas mood disorders are treated with medication. We have to talk and talk and talk and hope we are “cured”. Yet it’s like saying to a bird, “stop flying”, we survive with these ways of thinking and taking them away can be terrifying because then we can’t fly and if we can’t fly, we’re vulnerable. Sorry if i’m babbling I’m a little drugged up, my meds makes me a little woozy. That was my little rant for today. *goes to bed feeling sorry for self*

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New meds.

September 3, 2010

Well yesterday I went to see my psychiatrist, he asked what I wanted from the session and I asked about my bloods and whether I was getting medication. Obviously the blood test was lost after I panicked about it in the first place and he gave me meds anyway. 0.5mg of risperidone for when I’m particularly raging or anxious. He won’t give me benzos incase I become addicted and won’t give me Anti D incase it triggers Bipolar from my dad. He didn’t want to give it at all but I insisted on just something small to help so he gave it as a prn and I have 28 for the month but he said he hopes it’ll last two, he said that he’s seen so many young pretty girls turn into dawn french on risperidone, so I know he was trying to put me off and of course he said if i felt like overdosing it’ll only make me feel incredibly sick. So i was left with risperidone. I has some anxiety about it last night…

I took some last night and it calmed me and I felt very drowsy however I didn’t sleep at all which intrigued me because I was so sleepy. I searched online about sleep and riseridone and all it said was that it aids sleep…Bwah?!