Archive for the ‘Psychiatrist’ 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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Parents, growing up and suicide.

May 2, 2011

Well, wouldn’t you expect a happy blogger after getting hitched? Tis not so. Everything has gone excessively worse in my life since. Not my fault of my marriage but everything else (Okay I admit being married is called borderline anxiety problems but leave this for now). While my anxiety has increased massively since getting married and being diagnosed OCD, I knew something else had to go crazy in my life because my life can’t just have one huge problem at a time. Since I’ve gotten married my dad has finally said that he wants to divorce mum, this is a God send because their marriage is part of the reason that I am, well, writing this now. It just seems so many years too late for it to actually benefit me but at least for it to happen now means that my dad may be able to benefit, as for my mum she is socially inept, can’t make friends, is easily bullied, has a low paying job and has narcissistic tendencies and I believe BPD. I can’t imagine her ever being happy with any situation. Even though I am trying to fuel this divorce, along with my dad’s sister, every now and then I break down and cry. I know I’ve never really had a family as such but the fact that they were physically in the same home meant I could pretend.

I went to the in laws yesterday and it was my father in laws birthday, the family gathered round the table and a cake was brought out as the family sang and my heart broke into a million pieces. Even though my husband’s family are also quite dysfunctional, they love each other and do nice things for each other. I’ve never EVER witnessed either of my parents do something nice for the other and it hurt so much to see that even the most dysfunctional family can still be a family. It hurt that I don’t have a family. I have a mother and I have a father but no family. And now I’m married, I have even less of a family because the part of my parents that made me feel like I had parents was the occasional care of which now they feel they don’t need to give because I’m my husband’s responsibility now. I had this particular conversation with my mother yesterday.

I came home from the in laws for my mother to casually say “your dad went to hospital”, I questioned why she didn’t call to tell me of which she just shrugged her shoulders (her usual response to anything to do with dad) , this then brought up a conversation about how I’ve always loved dad more and how she needs to see the one she loves again (her celebrity obsession who has stepped over the boundaries by being her “friend”). She said she didn’t want to tell me that she was going away because I would “go off on one” I didn’t I said to her, “He (the obsession) cannot solve your problems.” To which she cried to my husband “see I told you, there she goes”. I tried my up most not to judge her and to just tell her that this celebrity can’t make her huge life problems better. She sees me as attacking her no matter what I say, I told her that she needs to sort out this home situation too and that she should of left years ago. She, of course, attacked me again, “you said you wanted to live with dad and he would’ve of raped you!”, she’s playing the hero, living with him to protect me. My dad has never touched me in any way that has ever been inappropriate. If anything she’s been the one who’s been over sexual with me throughout my childhood. She starts to tell me that she is trying to sort out the situation at home, so I asked her what she’s trying to sort out. She wouldn’t tell me, she said now I’m married and moving why do I need to know what’s going on with my my home because I’ll be gone. I told her that just because I’m leaving doesn’t mean I’m just forgotten about but she was set in her view that if I’m gone then I no longer exist in her life and it’s not important what goes on in my family because she doesn’t seem to understand that anything would emotionally effect me. She has a very one person view, she can only understand the way that things affect her. I thought maybe she was going to try and sort out a divorce as well so I tried to get her to tell me what was going on because how ridiculous would it be for both parties to be filing for divorce and the other not knowing. You can see how much communication there really is. She ended up saying how she doesn’t want to say anything because it’ll cause problems, J kept telling her she had to tell us. So she starts crying and says she’s talking to someone at the crisis team. After all she’s put me through I can be horribly unsympathetic to her so I stopped myself blurting out, “IS THAT IT?” To me calling the crisis team is not a big thing at all, I just know that they’re shit. So, she’s trying to get herself emotional support…but I still don’t see how that solves the home problem. She wants to continue living at home but have emotional support? She spent ages saying how nobody ever helped her when dad was first ill but every time we asked if she asked for help she said no but she expected it to just happen. So she feels let down by mental health services and she’s angry at them yet how do you receive if you don’t ask? She complains that dad got help and I got help but she didn’t. One, dad had a psychotic episode, of course someone is going to look after him in hospital. Two, I was a child, when you’re a child, you aren’t expected to ask for help when you go through a traumatic experience. I feel like she blames me but I did all I could throughout my life to help her and yes I did give up because of her constant “nobody cares about me, what about me, nobody ever looks after me”. J kept being sympathetic to her and I couldn’t stand it, she would cry and he hugged her and I just got so mad. If he hugs her and comforts her, she will attach to him and because I refused to hug her, she will have more reason to attack me. There were times that I cried and cried and she shrugged her shoulders at my feelings and said “what about me” and I can no longer let her in emotionally because I only get hurt. I only get left behind. So J’s compassion will be her reasoning for me not caring. He also kept telling her I do care and I do want to listen and I do want to help. I don’t. She is a grown woman, I want her to grow the hell up and start taking responsibility for her actions. She has created this life and she takes no responsibility at all for any of the wrong that happened, It’s all everyone else fault. She only thinks I’m ill because of “your crazy dad”, she doesn’t understand situational depression or that anything she has ever done being a cause for my trauma and pain. And until she accepts responsibility for her own actions I can’t help her. She says she wants to die, yeah well you know what, join the queue.

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Dr L: session 9.

November 27, 2010

Well…where do I start.

1) I humiliated myself.

2) I have made no progress.

3) I cried.

4) Dr L isn’t sure what to do with me.

5) With an end I can’t make progress.

 

With the limit of 5 months being set it has become clear to Dr L that there is no possibility to make progress as I am constantly worrying about the end being nigh. With the end being near it means that I can’t do things slowly and will constantly try and get ahead of myself because of knowing there will be an end. Dr L asked me how I felt about there being an ending and here comes the humiliation of bursting into tears and sobbing “please don’t leave me, you’re the only person who’s every really tried and been able to help me”. That’s it, I thought. I’m attached and when the sessions end, I am going to have a nervous breakdown, she’s there for me every week and she’s my weekly constant. I’ve never had a constant. I feel like I can release everything from the week all at once and it feels like such a relief. I just can’t lose that and I don’t want to think about when it’s gone because I’ll feel completely vulnerable and lost again. I can’t bear to be back there again. Even if I’ve made no progress and even if I never do, the fact that I feel safe that I can see Dr L every week would mean I had more chances of surviving this. She said about adding a few more sessions onto the end but I don’t know what that will help. She’s going to leave me at some point. I can’t cope with it. I don’t want to hate her, I really don’t but I know I will be so angry at her for leaving me to fend for myself. Dr SJS doesn’t seem to understand why I can’t make immediate progress. I said I’d had a month of sessions and nothing had really changed yet and he seemed baffled and concluded that maybe CBT wouldn’t help me at all. Maybe his previous patients have progressed immediately and suddenly been “cured” which I highly doubt. He’s so very blunt with me, sometimes it can be quite harsh.

 

But anyway, Dr L, It’s not going to be a pretty sight when I can’t see you anymore.

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General Update.

November 3, 2010

I’ve been finding it very hard to write lately because I’ve been feeling so down. It’s strange because I can usually churn out a post a day but with such a low mood, it’s like my brain has stopped functioning. My appointments were absolutely horrible this week. I saw my psych Dr SJS on tuesday just for a monthly check up and I told him about my depressive moods with no emotions and he said if I get worse I may have to go on anti depressents with is the last thing he wants to do because it’d be putting me at risk of bipolar. So yesterday I spent the day in a bit of a wreck thinking I had to suffer either way. Today was my CBT with Dr L, she spoke about my future and how she doesn’t know how she can help me much because of the way I get so distressed at everyday things, we don’t have much time to work together so she said all she could really do was help me with a few little things I could do each day to help myself. I just felt like she given me a death sentence, she basically said I was beyond help. She knows I need long term treatment yet can’t offer me more, that’s not my fault. I feel at a loss right now. I’ve had a lot of “those” thoughts but I can’t do it, I SHed a little and even that was something I kind of convinced myself to do to relieve the thoughts. I’m lacking purpose, I’m not really sure what I’m here for, If I’m here to suffer then I’d rather not. I know I carry on for my fiance and without him I’m not sure where I’d be. I’ve been pushing him away a lot because I just believe I’m going to ruin his whole life but he won’t go away, thank god he’s stubborn.

Sometimes I think I push him away so that I know he’ll fight to stay. And he always does but there’s a limit. I could never forgive myself if I pushed him too far but then sometimes I do feel I’m trying to save him from all of this crap. How completely ridiculous is all of this? Ergh, early night I think, I need sleep.

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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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My dad and his Bipolar

October 12, 2010

So lately I’ve finally been able to get the message through to dad’s CPN that he can’t carry on with the restless legs and irritability and anxiety any longer, not only is it horrible for my dad it’s painful for me to watch him pace endlessly across the living room and occasionally shouting “for f**ks sake!!” and the leave the house to pace some more in a different place. My dad is only on meds with psychiatrist appointments occasionally, in the last two years he has become so much worse. He had to watch his own father go through dementia and then die, the way it affected him is clear yet my dad didn’t have any therapy. His psych care seemed to carry on as usual with no change yet I saw the huge impact this had on him. It had a massive impact on me too, I remember seeing my grandad and he wasn’t the same person, I had to go to the bathroom and cry only to come back out with a smile and to hold the hand of a man who didn’t even remember who I was. And I had to be the strong one, at the funeral I was holding my dad’s hand for comfort and no one held mine. I’ve always been the one who has to cope. I’ve learnt to cope alone and that’s how I get through things. When my dad was hospitalised I would shut myself away, cry and come out of my room smiling and there to hold mum’s hand. My fear right now is my dad going back into hospital, he’s really not well and a med change could have drastic consequences, in a day he’s on on 1000mg sodium valporate, 2mg risperidone and I don’t know the measurements of his citalopram but I’m so scared that he will become psychotic again if anything is changed, right now it would break me. I know I survived it when I was little but then I wasn’t unstable myself. It’s a two edge sword and I don’t know which ones going to stab me. I can’t bear to see him in hospital again, I’d most likely end up there too.

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BPD, You can have me but not the one I love.

October 9, 2010

I have this fear of my intense emotional behaviour causing J to develop BPD. I  know it’s a silly thing to say but with his life being not that great either, I worry that some earlier things that happened may one day come out as BPD and that I’m only good as a trigger for it. I know it’s known as a women’s illness but men do get it, if I could get double BPD to save him from it I would. In all honesty he has 2/3 criteria for BPD and even they’re mild, whereas I have 8 our of 9 of the criteria and some are quite severe so you can see the difference. I think there’s small chance of him having it, he has no mental illness in his family, just extreme anger, hopefully he’s safe.  Although starting a family with me would mean having illness in his family, I’m terrified of letting him down by passing my illness onto our children. I couldn’t bear to see them suffer too. All I’ve ever wanted is a family and it feels like a risk to even have children. I feel like all I’ve ever wished for is a happy family and it could be jeopardised by me just having children in the first place! It’s a horrible feeling. And to not get dependent on meds so that in the future I can survive without them for pregnancies! I hate feeling that I’m disfuctional. My Psych described BPD as having bugs in your computer that needs to be taken out so the computer can function better, saying it’s like the brain has to be reprogrammed to work the way it should. Reprogramming sounds frightening, I’m scared of not being me at the end of it. I’ve always been over emotional…I don’t want to be fully functional, I feel like I’d lose a part of what makes me, well…me.