Tag Archives: seroquel

00:10 – ECT… has it really come to that?

31 Oct

Today I had my third appointment with new psychiatrist. I have to be honest and say I was utterly dreading it because the last two appointments with him have been extremely frustrating and of no help whatsoever. But lovely support worker came with me and when she first picked me up I was very very anxious, did not want to go, but after sitting talking to me and calming me down for about 20 minutes I finally got out of the car and went into the main hospital building.

I had gone over with her what I wanted to say to new psychiatrist today and just hoped that I’d both remember it all and get the opportunity to say it all. I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this here, but basically I had decided that if this appointment went as shite as the last two with him then I was going to ask my GP to refer me to see a different psychiatrist. I may live in the middle of nowhere with very little in the way of mental health support but I do believe there is one other psychiatrist that does cover this area.

So, bang on 2.30pm his door opens and he calls me through. I hesitantly walk through with lovely support worker behind me. We sit down and he asks how I have been since I last saw him. I took a breath and told him that my mood has remained flat the vast majority of the time, that there have been a couple and I do literally mean a couple of OK/good moments but really for… well… so long now I’ve lost count my mood is flat, I rarely find enjoyment in anything, my self harming continues, I have fleeting suicidal thoughts, my sleep is crap, even the very basics like having a shower and getting dressed and taking the dogs a walk sometimes just proves to be too much for me.

Yes, I know I went out for the first time in at least six months on Saturday night and ended up having quite a good time but I think that was mostly due to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. I did not mention anything about the recent brief substance misuse because I don’t want that splashed onto my case notes again… and anyways… it’s over and done with now with no plans of any repeat episodes. I told him about the two visits to A&E for self harm wounds and stitches, I told him I am trying my hardest to plod on with my part time home based uni course but that I’m failing to concentrate and struggling with it massively. I told him that sometimes I hear a little niggling voice encouraging me to hurt myself but that I can tolerate it as it’s nowhere near as bad as when I was hearing several voices and hearing them constantly. In that respect I think the 750mg a day of Quetiapine (Seroquel) is still working.

He asked how I’d found the increased dose of 45mg a day Mirtazapine and again I told him that it was fine for the first couple of weeks but then I started having such severe physical symptoms of anxiety (when I truly thought my heart was about to pack in and ended up getting the ecg done) and how lovely GP had wondered if it was actually the Mirtazapine causing it as anti-depressants do take a while to build up in your system. So I told him my GP told me to go back down to 30mg a day and see if the anxiety improved and yes, the heart palpitations did stop and have continued to be minimal. But the ‘psychological’ anxiety, the constant worrying and fears are still very much present. Some days I’m so scared to even walk out my front door to cross the road and walk the dogs for ten minutes then other days I dope myself up on whatever anxiety med I can and force myself to face a potentially scary situation.

He then asked how I had found the Pregabalin (Lyrica) that he had prescribed last time I saw him as the plan was for me to use it on a long term basis for my anxiety and finally start to taper off the Diazepam seeing as I’ve been taking it daily for three years now. But I had to tell him that had been a disaster as well… that I didn’t realise it had the same/similar ingredient as Gabapentin which it appears I’m allergic to. So the two medication changes he made at our last appointment a few months ago were both unsuccessful.

This of course brought us onto the discussion of reducing my Diazepam and I firmly told new psychiatrist that yes I am willing to reduce but I am most definitely not doing it at the moment. I feel horrendous enough as it is without trying to taper off from that. To my surprise he did actually say that he agreed now was not the right time, especially not as we are fast approaching my two worst times of year – Christmas and then my little boy’s anniversary in February.

He asked what support I was getting from the mental health team and I quite honestly told him how utterly useless I find cpn#2. He asked why and I explained about her super structured way of working, her setting of agenda’s, her constant ‘positive goals’ and her reluctance to talk about anything that is making my moods low. However I did tell him that I am now top of the waiting list for psychology and have been given a provisional date of mid to late November for my first appointment. It’s the same psychologist I used to work with so in a way I am looking forward to going back to see her even if I don’t feel particularly convinced that this Compassion Focused Therapy bollocks is going to work for me.

So all in all it was actually quite a good session. I managed to get across to him that the two medication changes he proposed last time I saw him had failed, that I was not ready to taper off from the Diazepam yet, that my moods are low and flat, that I’m self harming again and having occasional suicidal thoughts, that I am generally struggling with life a lot, that I’m struggling trying to continue with my studies, that the only person who lets me vent is lovely support worker, that I find my sessions with cpn#2 useless, and some days I seriously do wish I just hadn’t woken up that morning.

His first response to all of this was to ask me if I thought I would benefit from going in as an inpatient in the bin for a while? I said no, that place makes me feel worse, trapped, none of the staff give a damn, the other patients are too stressful to be around, there are too many rules… just no.

His second response was the one that surprised and to be honest shocked me (no pun intended). He said that as he looked back over all my medication history for the past four years we have pretty much exhausted every med now. There really isn’t anything different we can try. We could maybe try new combinations of something but I have pretty much tried every anti-depressant, mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic and benzodiazapine there is. He asked if it’s my depression or my anxiety that is worse and I said both of them. The anxiety can be managed to a degree with medication, the depression is just constant, constantly ongoing flat crappy moods that for months and months and months if not closer to a year have just stayed shit. Every day is an effort, every week is an effort, some mornings I open my eyes and my first thought is “I think I might kill myself today” or “I wish I was dead”. But I don’t act on them because I don’t want to put my parents through all that heartache and frustration again. I carry on painting on these fake smiles and trying so hard to make everyone think I am coping. Although I did let slip to my Mum the other day that I had recently self harmed and had to go to A&E. The thing is I’m still self harming – first through cutting… then misusing substances… then drinking… now back to cutting again. I try to put on this persona of being someone in recovery but I’m so far from recovery it’s scary. All these people telling me how well I’m doing because they don’t fucking let me talk about how bad I feel, they insist on only talking about positives and therefore have a completely skewed picture of how my life really is.

So new psychiatrist says here is the plan of action: he will not make any medication changes at the moment (mainly because there isn’t really anything else we can try), he would give me a couple of months to start seeing the psychologist again and see if psychological input helped my mood in any way, he encouraged me to be honest with cpn#2 about what *I* need from our sessions (told him I’d already done that and got nowhere)… he asked lovely support worker if she would carry on seeing me and she said yes she would see me weekly for as long as I needed it, he encouraged me to try and open up to my family so they know I’m actually not coping that great right now and all these fake smiles are simply that: fake.

And then he hits me with it… “there is one other thing we can try but I’d like to wait at least six months before trying it as I only like to use it as a last resort… have you heard of ECT before?”

I sat there kinda shocked but nodded my head. A very lovely fellow blogger tried ECT some time ago and I read all her experiences with it with interest even though it didn’t seem to work for her. It is something that scares me a bit… I mean nobody really likes the idea of being knocked out, put into a seizure and having your brain zapped do they? It’s pretty hardcore stuff. Then add in the quite possible and quite likely short term memory loss. It’s not the most appealing of treatment options. But whilst he did reiterate that it would be a last resort I suppose it sort of shocked me that it was even suggested. He said it doesn’t work for everyone but a point has to come where we try and break this depressive and unproductive cycle once and for all… and maybe, just maybe ECT would be the thing that finally works for me. But like I say, he wants me to try a few months of psychology first and then review things again. He wanted to see me back in a couple of months but he is away for most of January so my next appointment is February 6th… five days before my little man’s anniversary so I’m bound to be in a super depressed state of mind next time I see him. Again, lovely support worker said she would come with me.

I can see that my life is not good at the moment, far from it if I’m brutally honest. Yes on the one hand I haven’t given up on the studying (yet) and yes I managed to travel to a new faraway place recently (doped up on diazepam) and yes I even managed to go for a night out on Saturday (full of alcohol). But then we look at the flip side: I’m self harming a lot although managing to keep it reasonably superficial at the moment purely to avoid having to go to A&E, I’m having lots of thoughts about ending my life, my anxiety levels are ridiculously high and out of control most of the time, other than that one night out on Saturday I have next to no social life whatsoever, no friends that I see on any kind of regular basis, a constant niggling voice giggling away in my head at how pathetic I am and fuck just a couple of weeks ago things became so desperate I put that shite back into my body for some sort of an escape. I feel unsupported apart from by lovely support worker, I feel alone, I feel miserable, I question the point of everything, I don’t cook meals or eat properly I just binge on junk food, I’m lucky if I shower a couple of times a week. Things are not good. And I can’t go on pretending that I’m OK any longer because I’m not. I didn’t want to admit it but there you go, I’ve said it. I just don’t want to worry my family so I keep it bottled up… but it’s getting really bad again.

I cancelled my appointment with cpn#2 for tomorrow because I just cannot face her “positive goal setting” bullshit… I left a message for her saying I had too much studying to do and couldn’t go and asked her to give me a call back to rearrange another appointment but to be completely honest I will probably cancel that one as well. What’s the point when I get no benefit from them? And now I know it will only be a matter of weeks until I start seeing the psychologist again maybe it’s time to just stop seeing cpn#2 because I feel like I’m getting nowhere with her and I just cannot work to her super structured approach.

Has it really come to a point where I need to give serious consideration to trying ECT? Could that be the one thing that just blasts my brain back to a state of normality so I can get on with my life in a happy and meaningful way where I actually want to be alive and enjoy my life? Could it break away from all these desperate little attempts of escapism? I don’t know… And I’m not going to give it much thought for the moment because it wouldn’t be happening for at least six months anyway. And who knows where I’ll be in six months time… Who knows if I’ll even still be here? The way I feel at the moment that is somewhat doubtful.

But if I’m totally honest with people, if I lay my cards on the table and admit to how bad I feel then I enter back into the conversations like those of today: talks of admission into the bin… talks of ECT… Do I want those conversations, or worse, for them to actually happen? No.

I just want to feel normal whatever that is. I just want to feel happy. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead. I want things to be easy and free and effortless.

And yet I also want to go to wherever my little boy is… wherever it is we go when our body has died and our soul has moved on… and well…. I guess I can’t really believe that I’ve ended up back in this place again. I’m scared… the feelings of things about to fall apart and hit crisis level feel imminent and I’m genuinely truly terrified of that happening to me again.

15:14 – Silenced by Quetiapine

18 Jul

Just after writing my last post my phone started to ring. It was a friend.

Somewhere in the conversation I decided to tell friend about the voices coming back and about the lack of medication taken recently. I failed to mention the experimentations of the magical potions that have played a part in the recent weeks. I haven’t taken any magical potions since Saturday and have absolutely no intentions of taking any more, not after all the sickness that went alongside the magic.

Anyway…. friend was concerned about the skipping medications stuff and made me promise to take my medications immediately. I took them there and then whilst on the phone. After that, friend asked why I hadn’t been taking my medications?

I explained part of me doesn’t feel like I need them and part of me just genuinely forgets. I told friend I was sad that by missing a few days medication the voices had returned and I had thought that after all this time the medications might have killed them all permanently. But they are still there. Just stop the medications for a few days and out of nowhere they are back.

I told friend that I felt very much like self harming because I think that is what it will take to make Sasha shut up, as all she seems to want is to see me punished in some way or another. She has a certain commanding tone about her.

Friend told me if I didn’t take my medications I would end up very ill and mentioned the big scary H word (hospital).

I argued I would never go back to that place.

Friend told me in a firm and rational manner exactly what would happen: I would end up self harming badly and end up in A&E. The nurses would ask why I did it. I would tell them I did it because either Sasha told me/encouraged me to or mention something about Berry giggling all the time. The nurses would think I need to speak to a mental type person about this and then find out I’ve not been in touch with CPN#2 in like 8 weeks. This could lead to them making the decision that I either must: stay with someone and have them keep an eye on me and make sure I take my meds – or – a stay in the bin for as long as is deemed necessary.

So since that conversation on Tuesday I’ve taken Tuesdays, Wednesdays and this morning (Thursday) medications correctly.

There have been no magical potions added in. No magical potions touched since Saturday.

My head has started to quieten down. Berry has now stopped giggling so much. I don’t know if that’s good or bad as there was something about little Berry I kinda liked. I don’t know if the medications will make her disappear or if she’ll be stronger than them and stick around.

The only bit of noise in my head is Sasha. She is still here and continues to offer me ‘warnings’ that I should listen to and take seriously. She frightens me a little bit as she has an element of control about her and I don’t take too well to things being taken out of my control. I thought at first that Sasha was Berry’s mother but now I’m not so sure. Neither of them are constant, they don’t get into conversations with me, they don’t answer my questions, I can’t see them I can only hear them… they just appear when they fucking want to tell me something/several things then disappear again.

What saddens me is the realisation that even the maximum dosage of Quetiapine is just a band aid/elastoplast. As soon as that band aid is taken away my head goes straight back to that place of hearing all sorts of weird and wonderful things. And some pretty awful things. The voices haven’t really gone away they are just silenced by the Quetiapine. Even after all this time, deep down they are still there. Even when I’m not hearing them it’s purely because the Quetiapine is silencing them.

And that makes me pretty sad.

I can cope with little snippets from Sasha and the occasional giggle from Berry but no way could I cope with full time, full on, constant head noise again. But underneath it all… it’s all still there.

15:58 – Quetiapine increase and seeing lovely GP

14 Dec

On Wednesday I went to see lovely GP as I needed a new prescription and also I haven’t been feeling too great (mentally or physically) either.

As mentioned quite a lot on here I’ve been experiencing high levels of anxiety over the past 6 weeks or so. It has calmed down slightly over the past week or two, well when I say calmed down I mean it’s coming in waves at the moment as opposed to being there constantly. So it’s slightly more bearable. Anyway… *I should probably say if talk about poo offends you, then you may wish to look away now*… when I become very anxious one of my first sensations is pain and churning in my lower tummy… this is quickly followed by the need to get to my safe place (i.e. my house) and use a toilet ASAP. During the anxiety attack I will almost definitely get hot flushes (especially if I’m around other people), my heart will feel like it’s beating too fast and sometimes out of sync, my thoughts will start to race and give me the feeling like something really bad is going to happen, I can’t think rationally, I pace around trying to calm myself down… You get the picture.

So when I started to get another sort of stomach pain – this time at the very top of my stomach, just below where my ribs meet – I first thought it was something anxiety related and tried to ignore it. Then that night (I think it was Sunday night) I woke up in the early hours with this horrible pain that was making me really nauseous and I struggled to get back to sleep. After a couple of hours of tossing and turning I went to the bathroom and bent over the toilet to see if I was actually going to vomit. I didn’t but the nausea was awful and in the end I had to use my fingers to force myself to be sick just to get that feeling to stop but once I started being sick I couldn’t stop again, everything had to come out.

Eventually I tried to go back to sleep but was in general discomfort the rest of the night. When it reached late morning the nausea seemed to have passed so I went to my appointment with new CPN on Monday at 2pm and then my appetite came back a couple of hours later so I had a light dinner. Within a couple of hours of eating it the nausea was back full force and with no forcing needed I again vomited repeatedly.

So Sunday night, then off and on throughout Monday, during the night into Tuesday, all day Tuesday, during the night into Wednesday, Wednesday morning this same pattern of pain/nausea/vomiting/eating/pain/vomiting continued and I decided to mention it to lovely GP during my appointment with her on Wednesday afternoon. She got me to lie up on the bed thingy and had a prod around my stomach – until she pressed down on the tender spot and I nearly hit her hand away – it really hurt! :(

Lovely GP’s diagnosis was that she thinks I have a stomach ulcer. She said to diagnose it for definite would mean sending me to big scary hospital for what I presume would be an endoscopy but she knows such a referral is pointless because I just can’t get to big scary hospital yet. But she decided to treat me for a stomach ulcer anyway so she must have been pretty sure and I have to take a course of tablets for 4 weeks and see if the nausea and vomiting stop and if I can start to eat normally again. I’m only on my second day of them and unfortunately still quite nauseous but hopefully they will begin to work soon.

Whilst at my appointment with GP she said she had a letter from Mr Psychiatrist and after seeing me last week he was recommending my Quetiapine (Seroquel) be increased from 600mg to 700mg a day. GP asked what I thought about this and I said it would probably be a good idea. She asked if I wasn’t feeling so good and I confided in her that I had massive urges to self harm and felt like I was sitting in a pressure cooker just waiting to blow because I’m not letting myself do it to the level I want and need to :(

With regards to the increase, I’ve been up to 750mg before so I knew I would tolerate 700mg OK, I just hate thinking how close I am to the maximum dosage again and whilst it doesn’t work 100%, it is the most effective of all the anti-psychotics we’ve tried and has the least side effects for me. So now I just hope that the extra 100mg is just enough to help keep things manageable and not let the head crazies get any worse. My hope is that once we are through the Winter months I might be able to drop back down to 600mg but we’ll see how things go.

I do still have the opportunity to increase my Mirtazapine (Remeron) dose, I can go up one last 15mg increase before hitting the max dose. And I guess there is still always the opportunity to add a ‘mood stabiliser’ back in. Sometimes I wonder if quitting the Lamotrigine was a good idea, it didn’t give me any bad side effects at all but equally after two years of taking it I didn’t think it had done anything to help so stopping it seemed like the right move. I assumed we would just start another one but I also told Mr Psychiatrist back then that I had been on the same anti-depressant for about five years and asked him if he thought it would be worth changing it as well. Unfortunately I’ve already tried just about every anti-depressant there is without success so we decided to give Mirtazapine a try. Then when I had been on it for a month or so I thought we would introduce a new mood stabiliser but instead we increased the Mirtazapine. Then when I suggested it again after another couple of months it was recommended that the Quetiapine was increased as well. So I’m still just on the three medications but at higher doses: Mirtazapine, Quetiapine and Diazepam.

I keep thinking that I want to ask lovely GP if I could maybe go back onto monthly prescriptions instead of weekly ones and I was planning to ask her on Wednesday, but then I ended up telling her about these horrible urges to self harm and I knew there would be no point in asking her then, I know they only do it to keep me safer but that must be two or three years of weekly prescriptions now and I want to be *trusted* again. The only problem I can think she might have is prescribing me a month’s worth of Diazepam at a time as, I’m currently down to 16 mg a day (4 x 4mg doses) so although the tablets I get are only 2mg in strength I take 8 of them a day which is 56 I’m prescribed every Wednesday, which would be 224 (or 8 boxes of 28) per monthly prescription and I don’t know if they would ever be happy to give me 8 boxes worth at a time when they’ve made it clear they’re not particularly happy giving me 2 boxes each week, but they do it anyway.

Who knows, maybe one day they will be able to trust me again… maybe I need to show somehow that I trust myself first… and yeah if I’m honest I don’t trust myself much at all at the moment so I guess, realistically, it’s going to take quite some time yet to be trusted again by ‘t3h professi0nalz’.

Well I suppose I better go out in the wind and rain, walk my little dogs, go to the shop and then decide what I’m going to do with myself this evening. I don’t envisage much of a fun Friday night ahead, probably a boring one on my own in front of the TV (although, to be fair, that is about all I can be bothered with at the moment). I am also going to be on a very tight budget over the next couple of weeks as I finished off my Christmas shopping yesterday and paid some bills and have left myself with next to nothing to live off for the next two weeks. Maybe it’s just as well the only thing I can stomach is plain cereal or toast at the moment, at least it’s cheap!

23:08 – My heart hurts

9 Dec

Like the title says really…

Why can’t I just feel normal?

Why have I spent today hiding from the world, ignoring calls and texts and spent a large proportion of the day in tears. I don’t even know what I’m crying about.

I’m having one of those days where you sit on youtube and watch music videos with lyrics that somehow touch your soul and move you to a point where you end up replaying it over and over and over again and just letting the tears roll down your cheeks.

I have an appointment with new CPN tomorrow. As usual, I don’t want to go. I also have to see lovely GP on Wednesday and support worker on Wednesday. I don’t really want to speak to anyone, I’m more in the mindset where I really just want to be left alone to discreetly make my exit.

This evening I have phoned the Samaritans about four or five times and not even managed to say hello when they answered. I just end the call and start crying again.

If I really must go to these appointments this week then I think when I see GP on Wednesday I’m going to go ahead and ask for my Quetiapine to be increased to 700mg. It can’t make me feel any worse and maybe it will just help enough to keep me from acting upon these thoughts that are getting worse and worse by the day. I’m just really scared that I’ll admit to lovely GP how utterly crap I am feeling. She just has a way of making me feel like it’s OK to tell her the truth and I don’t have that with new CPN (yet?) and to be honest I really wish the social worker I was once really close too was still around because lovely GP tends to panic and mentioned the dreaded H word when I’m too honest with her. At least lovely social worker understood, or so I thought back then.

I feel so miserable. I feel lonely even though I don’t want to be around people and I just want to shut everyone out whilst I nurse my crazy head through these horrible dark and gloomy days. My heart feels as though it’s breaking over something, but I don’t know what. But that is where the pain is when I cry, my heart feels like it aches. I know that sounds a bit dramatical but it’s true. My heart hurts. And I feel very empty and very sad.

Goodnight folks

 

15:36 – Missing home & ear acupuncture

22 Feb

I’ve been staying at my parents house since Sunday because of all the work they are doing on my flat. I went up yesterday after they had left and felt like crying; there was no floor just boards to jump across with lots of pipes running across the rooms. Every socket just had wires hanging from it, there was no kitchen, it looked like a bomb had hit it. I don’t know how I’m going to find the money to replace all my flooring :( It was my own fault; when I first moved in six years ago I had to request permission to lay wooden flooring and to be fair they did say in the letter back that should anything happen where it would have to be lifted then it would be my own responsibility to replace it. Some of it wasn’t in a very great condition so they have just thrown it out so I can’t re-lay it.

Staying at the parents is weird. This was my home and bedroom for many years but it feels strange being in someone else’s house. It’s nice not having to cook and getting all my meals made for me but weird that I have to tell someone where I’m going and when I’ll be home and stuff. I do just come and go as I please but… I don’t know… I just want to go home really.

Today I went for ear acupuncture for the first time. It is supposed to help with mental wellbeing and clarity. It was an interesting experience where we sat with our eyes closed listening to relaxation music with five little needles in each ear. It was very relaxing but far too early to tell if it works. It’s run three times a week and it’s free of charge, the guy running it said if I go two or three times a week I’ll start to notice the benefit of it fairly quickly. I think I will go back on Friday and give it another shot.

It’s been a busy day for me, it’s felt like one appointment after another. Tomorrow I might go along to a little group called the women’s support group where you get a chance just to chill out with other women who have been affected by drugs or alcohol and have a chat and a cuppa. The other girl who was at ear acupuncture said if I go along then she’ll go along so I might as well give it a try. It’s always nice when you know you have somewhere to go where you don’t feel so alone with your cravings and urges. I should really start going to the little club for people with mental health problems but I guess I kinda get sick of talking about my craziness.

I have an appointment soon with my GP for more medication. I am increasing my dose of Quetiapine (Seroquel) today and decreasing my Lamotrigine (Lamictal) again. In another month or so I should be completely off the Lamotrigine and then we’ll need to look at another mood stabiliser I guess.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment. Hopefully my flat will be finished either on Friday or Monday, I just really hope they tidy it up a bit before they go, it’s completely non habitable at the moment. Everyone keeps saying think how nice it will be when it’s all done – eventually it will be yes. But first it’s going to need redecorated from all the holes in the walls and re-floored. I think if I’m going to lose my driving license anyway then I might as well sell my car and use the money to sort my flat out. We’ll see how it looks when it’s finished. Hurry up and let me home workmen!!

20:58 – Time for some honesty

9 Feb

It’s been a while since I last posted, so this is probably going to be a super long one. I have really been trying hard to keep myself distracted and that’s also meant a bit of a break from the internet. My moods have been a bit unpredictable lately and somewhere deep down I knew I’d go into another suicide research phase if I allowed myself to open the laptop and switch it on. So I figured just keep myself busy in the day times and then come home and watch TV then sleep. My sleep is pretty poor at the moment but that could be due to a number of things.

There has been quite a lot happening. I was really ill for a week or so with bronchitis but I’m feeling better now. I was reading back on my blog posts and although I hinted at the drugs I was taking I think now is the time to just write truthfully. Christmas was hard, I played it down but it fucked my head. The next few days I was like a zombie, all I could think about was suicide. It got to New Year and I made a choice that I deeply regret – I asked someone about heroin – why she took it… her answer… it makes everything OK again. And that’s what I needed – everything to be OK again, my head to stop being fucked up and mental, the voices to stop screaming, my thoughts to slow the fuck down. So I made an extremely stupid decision – I tried smoking heroin. What did it feel like? I felt medicated and then I vomited for about the next three hours. That was it. No high, no low, no buzz, just feeling completely ill.

So why the fuck did I go and buy it again the next day?? I have no idea. And what makes it all the worse is that I went to the drug and alcohol place and got needles. I felt more comfortable watching it going into my bad blood. There was something about the whole process of opening the wrap, sprinkling it into the little sterile metal holder, adding in the citric acid, cooking it up, putting in the filter, sucking it up into the needle, finding a vein then slowly feeling it run through my body. The first few days it would make me sick but it wasn’t an unpleasant sickness, it actually felt good getting bad stuff inside of me out. I would lie on the sofa and nod off, still aware of everything around me but enjoying the feeling of medicated sleepiness and that girl – she was right – nothing mattered, nothing could hurt me, nothing was there apart from pleasant nods and bursts of daydreams.

I continued using every day until I went into hospital. One wrap costs £10, by the time I had been using for two weeks I was up to 4-5 wraps a day. That’s how addictive it is. You need more and more every day to get that same zoned out medicated feeling. So when I went to my GP completely suicidal I broke down and told her what I’d been using. I told the psychiatrist and I just needed a break away from it all. I was becoming dependent, if not physically then psychologically. So I had my week away from it all, they increased my dose of Diazepam and gave me Lorazepam as well. They gave me anti-sickness tablets and tablets for the stomach cramps. The first few days I felt like shit and I was craving so badly but by the time I came home a week later I was feeling a different sort of shit – that of the haloperidol. So I stopped taking the haloperidol two days after I came out of hospital and haven’t taken it since.

I have been to see a drugs counsellor and she was really nice. She is very well trained in lots of areas of counselling and listened to my whole story. I told her about how trapped I still feel, stuck somewhere in the bereavement process, still stuck in that day five years ago. She was so nice and told me she really believes she can help me understand grief better and hopefully start to move forwards with my life. She knows the drug use was due to both my mentalness and my inner pain. For the first time in a long time I actually feel more positive about the future, like maybe there is a chance I can move forwards without feeling guilty for living my life.

Speaking of the little one it’s his 5th anniversary on Saturday. It’s going to be a hard and sad day as it is every year and seeing the ex is never easy either. I have ordered a beautiful basket of flowers from the florist which cost a bomb but he is worth it. I’m worried Saturday is going to be a very triggering day for me. I will admit I have used heroin once since coming out of hospital but all it did was make me sick as a dog like the first time I tried it and I haven’t touched it again but psychologically I still crave that medicated feeling where nothing can hurt me. And what can hurt me? Life. Everything about it hurts especially with the anniversary just two days away. But I am determined I will not tarnish his memory by putting that shit into my body on his special day. No matter how much pain I am in, I won’t ever touch that stuff again. I don’t want to be some sort of junkie I want it to just be what it was – a two week mistake, a very stupid one, but one which has actually had a positive outcome as now I am going to get the counselling which I so badly need.

I am getting on with my CPN a bit better now, I still don’t especially like her but have decided I need to work with her whether I like it or not. We met on Monday and updated my crisis plan. Today I had a CPA meeting which consisted of myself, my CPN, psychologist and social worker with the psychiatrist via video link which was quite weird but better than being in the same room as him! We really just talked about where I was at and what work I had been doing with CPN woman. I also told them about the counselling I’d been offered through the drug centre and how I was going to start that because I believe I need it regardless of what the psychiatrist said while I was in hospital about not needing it right now. I explained I knew my safety had been their priority but that I felt the counselling would help me a lot and if it became too painful or started to affect my moods then I would be honest and say it was too much for me right now. Also that’s my psychologist off on maternity leave for the next year now and I need some emotional support while she is gone. It was hard seeing her big bump today, it was hard that the video conferencing room in the hospital happened to be right next to the maternity department. I had been asked to take my Mum or Dad along to the meeting but as they both had work commitments I took my best friend instead. The psychiatrist asked me if I was still using drugs and I said no. He then said that CPN woman had told him I had used once since coming out. Of course best friend didn’t know this and I had to completely deny it. He asked if I was smoking cannabis and I admitted that yes I do still have a smoke at night because it feels like the only thing that is keeping me calm. He gave me the speech on how one smoke could destabilize me and make my mental health worse which I don’t dispute, but right now it truly is the only thing that chills my crazy head out.

I told him I want to start Quetiapine (Seroquel) again. I know I reached the maximum dose of it before and was still experiencing psychosis but it was the only anti-psychotic which kept me stable for a decent period of time and didn’t come with a shit load of side effects. We have also decided to stop my Lamotrigine (Lamictal) so I’m stepping that down by 25mg a week, it doesn’t seem to have helped stabilise my mood and I’ve been on it almost two years and I think it’s making my psoriasis worse as well. It’s known to cause a lot of skin problems, rashes and stuff in some people. It’s a shame because it was another medication which didn’t give me nasty side effects but hopefully there will be another mood stabiliser I can try which won’t be too harsh.

So that’s where I’m at. Time for some honesty and hoping people won’t judge me for my stupid actions. Feeling a bit fragile about my little angel’s anniversary on Saturday and there not being anywhere open if I need support. Knowing I need to be strong and not sure if I’m going to manage. My best friend wants me to go and spend the night at hers so I’m not alone, she said in the meeting today how it would be good for me as her kids would be a distraction, sometimes she forgets that watching her two babies is really hard for me.

It’s going to be a difficult weekend I just hope I can do my angel proud.

It’s 5.35am and I’m…..

13 Oct

…awake.

It would seem that taking my full prescribed dose of diazepam by 5pm yesterday meant that I had an utter nightmare in trying to get some sleep. I think it was around 1am that I dozed off, so four hours of sleep isn’t good. I’ve just taken a couple more diazepam to see if I’m still sleepy enough for them to work (just another few hours I beg!!)

I am up to 300mg a day of Amisulpride now. Still a baby dose I know, it was supposed to be being increased around about now to 400mg a day. But I haven’t been to see my GP for the prescription as she is on holiday and I don’t like any of the other GP’s who work there. So I’ll just wait until Monday, I have enough meds to see me through til then as I got a week’s discharge pack when I left hospital. With some interesting notes on my discharge sheet such as:

DIAGNOSIS: Psychosis not yet specified

PROGRESS IN HOSPITAL: Changed from Quetiapine to Amisulpride

OUTCOME: Symptoms 1st rank schizophrenic in nature rather than psychotic symptoms of bipolar disorder.

NEXT APPT: Next Wed 19th at 11am.

 

I’m really not sure how I feel about the changing of my diagnosis. Well I know it hasn’t been changed officially yet but lets face it, of all the ‘mentals’ to get schizophrenia is down there at the bottom of the pile of the ones you would want. Not that you would want any. I apologise, it’s 5:44am and I’m babbling. OK, so they haven’t actually changed my diagnosis yet but it looks like it’s heading that way. There has been quite some time now where scary words like psychosis and delusional and anti-psychotics have all been a part of my vocabulary and it’s a bit frightening really.

But then, Bipolar was really frightening to start with at well. Don’t get me wrong, there was a degree of relief for the name for my weird behaviour. But then so was ‘depression and anxiety’ at one point. And ‘agoraphobia’ and admitted to being a ‘self harmer’. There is a lot of shame still surrounding mental health and I know there are all these campaigns to try and make that change but it’s almost like “oh she only has a little bit of anxiety, don’t worry she’ll be fine” to “oh my god have you heard about that my crazy bipolar life well they think she’s schizo as well”. Does that make sense or am I being stupid? Lots of people will experience an episode of feeling depressed or anxious in their life, but proper full on hardcore mental health is when we are going down the Bipolar and Schizophrenic roads. And now they think I could have both or one or whatever.

One part of my brain says ‘nonsense – I’m totally fine’ – another part of my brain says ‘I can’t handle one more moment of not knowing what is real and what is not. I don’t know whose talking to me half the time. I don’t know if they really exist. I don’t know why they watch me and I don’t know how they read my thoughts, but somehow, they do’.

The Patty voice of last year – the commanding and insulting one who made me do some pretty fucked up things, well she is well and truly gone. I have three people living inside me just now. Four if I include myself. These people are nameless but huge when it comes to personality. One has very distinctive pink hair, she is a large lady and regularly taunts me over my appearance. But I don’t get it, I see her in the mirror next to me and initially I think I look pretty good compared to her but somehow she talks me down, insults me, swears at me, does everything in her power to make me believe that every word she says is gospel.

The second female voice is the one who taunts me over my baby loss. When I think of her I think of leopard skin fur, I really don’t know why. She taunts me, tells me I deserved to lose him, makes scary things happen to him in my dreams and when I’m awake. I want to scream at her to leave us alone, I think there is a bit of Patty in her as she doesn’t speak that much directly to me, more in conversation with the others.

The last one I hear is a male voice which I find a bit disturbing. Well a lot disturbing really. He likes to talk about the abuse from my childhood and tell me that I enjoyed it. I know this type of voice is actually more common than I think. But fuck, it is scary. It turns me from a relatively sane adult into a crying mess curled up into the foetal position and terrified to let myself think in case it’s another thought like that. Dirty little slag that I am.

Living with people inside you and only having control over yourself is damn hard work. Except you have actually been controlled by these people that only you seem to be able to see for so long that you actually don’t have any control over yourself, you just think you do. You actually live by trying to shut them the fuck up. Overdosing for peace. Cutting to watch the bad poisonous blood inside me trickle out thick and fast and dark and know at least some of it has an outlet from my body.

It’s 6.07am and I don’t think the diazepam is working. The amisulpride doesn’t seem to have any sedative type effects whatsoever which is a shame really, even though I spent half my life feeling like a zombie, I quite liked that easier to sleep feeling that the Quetiapine/Seroquel gave me. Maybe once the amisulpride moves up a few notches it will calm my brain down slightly. Right now it’s causing me to lose sleep and that makes me like a bear with a sore head.

I hate this coming out of hospital thing, those initial days after it when you question if you did the right thing by leaving so abruptly and questioning if you really can cope with life in the outside world. I wanted to come out to be a help to my Mum not another burden and right now that’s exactly what my mind is telling me that I am.

Hmm well it’s 6.19am now and I am going to sit and watch morning news until the sun rises or I fall asleep.

Oh what a bad girl I am ffs

5 Oct

Oh dear what a bad girl I have been. M the fucking poisonous staff nurse has been doing my head in for the past 2 hours. I politely asked earlier if I could speak with a doctor due to concerns with my medication – they have dropped my quetiapine/seroquel from 750mg to 250mg in 2 days and started me on this amisulpride. Common side effects listed on patient info sheet for new amisulpride drug: insomnia, anxiety, agitation. I’m fucking bouncing from wall to wall I’m that hyped up. So I politely ask for something to calm me down a bit and she says no she will not be phoning a doctor to ask them. I was extremely rude to her, I believe my exact words were “why did you want to be a psychiatric nurse cos you’re a fucking useless one” which, in all fairness, she is.

Another side effect mentioned is a skin rash and what do you know my arm is coming out in a rash.

M the bitch nurse keeps saying I knew what the medication change entailed but not once did anyone tell me I’d be fucking bouncing off the walls by day 2. Yes the quetiapine wasn’t working, yes I was still hearing voices on it, yes I’m still having all of the above right now. But she quite categorically said she would not have a doctor come to see me, that I am rude and confrontational (agreed) and I could wait to see my own doctor tomorrow or Friday when he is next in.

Surely I have the right to a decent night sleep and not be on something causing insomnia and such a huge and fast drop to my withdrawing medication. She is a complete fucking cow. Argh.

Because my brain is scrambled and because I am using my phone I can’t remember if I wrote about this already but the short version is that they thought I had absconded when I’d gone a woodland walk tryin to clear my head. I was out sitting in the pitch black woodland from about 8pm til 11.30ish, four police officers and two ward staff finally found me. End of story really.

Also I won’t be working with my psychologist any longer as she is 19 weeks pregnant and I can’t deal with that shit, talking about my loss and watching her bump grow. Everything is a head fuck.

I think my social worker has joined the gang of hating me, she barely sees me anymore, I’ve now got no psychologist, the majority of staff in this hospital are quite simply crap.

Oh fuck it. End of rant.

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