Posts Tagged ‘we’re all a little mad here’
…but thinking of starting a new blog. Fresh starts and all that.
I was almost-recovered & hence completely forgot to update. But since beginning treatment for PTSD, I am now not-very-recovered-at-all and so thinking it might help to start writing again. They say it has to get worse to get better but I’m not sure how much worse it can get.
What, precisely, is recovery? Because this concept is starting to get my goat.
The Mental Health Foundation describes it thus:
What is recovery?
For many people, the concept of recovery is about staying in control of their life despite experiencing a mental health problem. Professionals in the mental health sector often refer to the ‘recovery model’ to describe this way of thinking.
Putting recovery into action means focusing care on supporting recovery and building the resilience of people with mental health problems, not just on treating or managing their symptoms.
Rethink Mental Illness has this to say on the topic of recovery:
Recovery as a concept is about the process of building a meaningful life as defined by the person with a mental health problem themselves.
There are four key component processes suggested:
- Finding and maintaining hope
- The re-establishment of a positive identity
- Finding meaning in life
- Taking responsibility for one’s life
Trying to work out how these relate to my individual story is difficult. Compared to how my mental health was 6 months ago or more, I could be considered “recovered”. My self harm is no longer severe, if it occurs at all. I’m attempting living without medication and I haven’t needed a “break” (of a psychiatric-facility nature) in this time.
There are still things that can trigger a full-scale emotional tits-up, things which I don’t thing are that obvious or understandable. Hearing a story about abuse or bullying in the news won’t set anything off, but I can spend a week or more in a state of constant anxiety over particular nicknames, or songs, or smells, or people behaving in a certain way. I still wake up screaming from nightmares and I still dissociate, quite noticeably “going offline” at times.
This is where I get confused. If I view myself from the point of the “model” of PTSD, these could be thought of as “symptoms” that will be “recovered” from. I’m starting to doubt how valid this is though. Not doubting the validity of the experience, but who would react quite normally and sane-ly when confronted with traumatic experiences? Wouldn’t adapting to such experiences as a normal part of life signal madness on someone’s part? Society as a whole would be in even more of a mess if we had no sense of justice, or self-preservation, or self-protection or… feelings.
So I don’t really know where this leaves me. Maybe the time will come when I’m not as severely affected by things. At what point can I say “that’s enough recovery, the rest of it is just being human”? Or vice versa maybe, how much of my reactions are being human and how much is mental illness?
I really really struggle with Christmas and New Year times, for various reasons. I saw in 2012 watching a film and eating breadsticks, trying to pretend nothing significant was happening.
I was very excited because of the results of the This Week In Mentalists Award. There are so many fantastic mental health writers out there and I feel really honoured to recieve an award. Thank you so much for the votes. I’ve found lots of interesting blogs to read and lovely, lovely people to talk to as well. THIS was what I was excited about for New Years Eve. How sad am I?
So. Twenty-twelve. Now we’re here, we may as well have a stab at it and see what happens, hey?
I’ll update properly on the past few weeks when I don’t have a Zopiclone hangover.
Possible triggers for self harm, substance abuse, eating disorders and generally not very nice thoughts.
I have been released into the community, armed with benzodiazepines and not incredibly further forward than when I went in. My first night in my own bed involved DVDs, rum and a very poor excuse for a wound dressing. The night workers at the supermarket barely raise a brow when I arrive in the late evening at the self-checkout (how annoying is that woman’s voice?!) with various bottles and “sharps”. I don’t necessarily expect them to do anything, but seeing as nearly everyone I do know is indifferent at best towards this latest “episode”, it just makes me feel more invisible.
My team and I have come to an agreement that the aim is not treatment, per se, but management. It’s dreadful of me to say, but the term “management” makes me think of a palliative care patient. There is no treatment or hope - the vast arsenal of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic interventions have seemingly been tried, all that can be done for me now are sympathetic faces and making me as comfortable as possible while I wait to die. The poison that invaded me as a child has turned into some cancerous growth that is taking over my existence and I grieve for the person that I could’ve become, had this disease not taken it away.
I get even more upset when I think of how precarious the balance of my mind really is. I sit among people my age at college and wonder how many of them have families that need to know the protocol for having them detained under the Mental Health Act. It scares me that one day, my family will be faced with that decision, that I would have no control over what people do to me when control is the one thing I need so much. I understand now why people call it going mad. You are entering a strange land with laws and regulations that you don’t understand, in a language you don’t speak and every time you end up going down that path, you wonder if you’re going to return this time.
And I’m resentful and bitter and angry. When I eventually sleep, I am tortured by nightmares. When I’m awake, I’m back on the merry-go-round of cut/drink/purge/cut/drink/purge to just escape the chaos in my head. The sound of the phone ringing sets my heart pounding, someone coming up behind me makes me scream, I can feel thin layers of grains or seeds, some irritant, under the skin on my face. I can see it. I want to claw off the flesh and wash it away.
I don’t think I’m going to return from this one. I don’t know whether what’s happening in my head or what’s happened in reality is the scarier thing.
“Crisis team” sounds rather grandiose, doesn’t it? It sounds like a group of sweaty, burly, self-sacrificing embodiments of human kindness, responding to major natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, rebuilding homes and hand-feeding tiny children.
Actually, a “crisis team” tells you to go for a walk and have a bath when you’ve decided to end your life.
Maybe crisis care services in the NHS are actually exhibiting signs of acute mania, demonstrated by symptoms of grandiose, delusional behaviour.
…. and I’m in the crazypeoplehousecentre again. Balls.
Oh ICD, how much I loathe thee!
Do we use ICD in UK or is DSM? Pretty sure it’s ICD? Hmm.
I am somewhat hyper/manic/hypomanic/off-my-head. Usual routine of stopping antidepressant and “watching and waiting”, except now I have stuff to knock me out at night. Staying awake and perfectly coherent (for a manic person) until 5am isn’t great for daily functioning, but does wonders for your scores on Xbox games.
I’m not diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, but the magic 8 ball seems to be pointing that way. If I haven’t come down within a few weeks, or if I get any… uh… manic-er, then I have to get back in touch with the mental health team and they will… do something. I’d preferably like to be normal again in time for college. I never know I’ve got into this state until I’m actually in it and I can’t focus on reading but random words that aren’t actually in the text keep jumping out of the page. Not an advisable state for research.
Sorry if this post doesn’t really make any sense. Nothing is actually making sense in either input or output. The only thing that seems to keep me here is singing or tapping my fingers on everything. I don’t think I’m even real anymore, I saw some friends earlier and they didn’t see me at first until I was practically in their faces and then they were just looking everywhere else but me. I’m scared that something is taking over my head and dissolving me.
This needs to stop, please. It’s destroying my life.
ALL of the consultant psychiatrists in my area (a grand total of… 2?) have decided to go away at the same time. We poor mentalists can either arrive screaming & mildly psychotic at the double doors of the psychiatric hospital, be told to “distract yourself” (the goddamn spiders are distracting me enough) by the duty psychiatrist at A+E… or just deal with it for another week or so.
I am just one big ball of fail and drama teetering on the edge of the border line.
Now that I’ve got the dramatic intro out of the way…
I am feeling rather frustrated. I don’t quite know how the mental health services want you to work. If I don’t ring the crisis team tonight and end up having a Fail and I unfortunately survive it, then they will be annoyed that I’m not taking responsibility for myself. Cue angry psychiatrist and care-coordinator appointments, angry faces, angry angry angry. But. If I DO ring the crisis team because I don’t want to have a Fail, that means that I didn’t ever feel like Failing in the first place, so please leave us alone now thanks bye.
I don’t know whether this is just how treatment works, it wasn’t the case in CAMHS but then it’s a pretty well known fact that child and adolescent mental health care is better than adult mental health care. I really do wish I was back with CAMHS. I miss CAMHS. I’m even starting to miss being inpatient. Before that really does sound crazy, let me explain.
There were one million and one things horrible about being in hospital but. For that period of time, I didn’t have the problems at home that I do now (and the problems most professionals agree contribute to my mentalness a great deal). I was removed from it, limited to a 15 min phone call in the evenings. Rather than exercising alone at night, or just sitting alone crying, I could have a hot chocolate and find a member of staff to talk to (depending on how good the staff were that night!). You were there because you were crazy and everybody feels sad when they think of a crazy young person. Crazy young people deserve trips out and having their makeup done for them and lessons that you might only get half a piece of work done, but they realised just how much it took to complete that half piece of work when your mind was shattering. But somewhere around my 17th birthday, I was propelled into “adulthood”, adult services, adult treatment, adult total disregard for feelings.
I talk to adult services, where my messy little 17 year old self is treated on par with 50+ year olds. I am expected to have life experience and understanding that I just don’t have yet. I study at an adults further education college, where just getting your work done one day when you’d rather kill yourself isn’t an achievement – neither is getting the work done good an achievement. Perfection is an achievement… or was it expected all along? Grades are everything! And what about your career? It’s all about the dollar, baby. No, no, no, we don’t CARE if you’d rather work with people than earn money. Success is measured by your wage packet at the end of the month, the size clothes you wear, the car you drive.
Somehow over the past few months, I’ve built myself a little shrine to Miss Perfect Outwardly. I’m overachieving at college, or was. I signed up to a billion volunteer projects. And then I got offered some more and you can’t turn it down because I thought you were doing well? I thought you were better? We won’t ask how you are because things might not be going well and then you’d have to talk about it.
And this all happened at 12:01am on my 17th birthday. I’m not even out of my teens and I’m now an adult. I’m barely legal to have sex, I couldn’t get married without parental consent, I can’t even drink alcohol.
It’s a very hard gap to bridge. One I think isn’t being addressed enough. In some areas in the country, the cut off for CAMHS is 16. 16? Some eating disorder experts have even gone as far to say as treatment for 16-18s with eating disorders would be better cared for socially, emotionally & educationally in a CAMHS setting, rather than adults specialist eating disorder care.
Sometimes I wonder if we’re really the mental ones in all of this. And I think I’ve ranted enough for tonight. And I’m no further forward in deciding whether to call the crisis team or not.
“Blessed be the cracked, for they let the light shine through”.
So I know this blog is primarily about personality disorder & my experiences of it – this could well be related to it but the following post will mainly have triggers for eating disorders &… I don’t know what. It’s just not very nice things being talked about.
At the moment, I am having real issues with night-time. It’s coming up to “bedtime” for me now & I can already feel my heart thumping. I know this sounds incredibly immature but let me explain..
I don’t know quite what’s going on, but I am… obsessed over the idea of being kidnapped from my bed in the night & nobody hearing. Stolen, for want of a better word. Why? I don’t know. I’m not worth being stolen in the first place. I have researched kidnappings, forced disappearences, missing people, etc. to a great degree. I frequent the UK Missing People website regularly, as well as the Kidnappings & Missing Persons section of the FBI website. As I say, I don’t think I’m worth being stolen, apart from sexual slavery maybe. I can’t see why the governments or intelligence services would want to take me because I have no information. Statistically, I have a better chance of waking up in the same bed in the morning in the UK than the US. Unexplained disappearences are more likely in America, including people that just… aren’t there the next morning. It’s not even what would happen to me if I was taken, it’s the empty bed the next day.
Recently, I’ve been feeling more fragmented in a dissociative sense. I’m going from very young (maybe around 5 or 6), to whoreish teenager (13+?) to some ageless personification of anger & destructive power. I forget periods of time, a few minutes to a few hours. Sometimes I am here but not. I have dreams where *I* have died & nobody wants to touch my corpse because it stinks so bad, so I have to find my remains somewhere. Locked up in the boot of a car, cut up & scattered in a ditch… & what’s scaring me so much is that one day I won’t be here anymore. I will be at the mercy of whatever power is trapped in my mind. My bed will be empty one morning, because “outwardly” won’t be there. It brings a whole new meaning to “losing your mind”. Your mind is lost, but where does it go? Some of these missing people are never found & declared legally dead after a while. Will that happen to me? Outwardly will be stolen by the powers & declared legally dead – it won’t be me inhabiting this body. Where will I have gone? One day I might forget time & never come back & where will have I gone?
I am struggling with my eating disorder at the moment. Obviously I am still grossly fat, my weight is hardly budging except for a few pounds. I am having a lot of blood tests right now as the purging is messing around with the levels of… stuff. I think I’m going to buy an exercise bike & exercise during the night, so I am awake & can try & avoid being stolen as much as possible. Sometimes I think all these weird thoughts with the flashbacks are making me lose my mind.
& so the fight for treatment goes on. At the moment, I don’t think I’m strong enough to cope with a session of being called a horrible person by my care team, so I’m avoiding them. They don’t believe I have an eating disorder, although my physical health provides evidence otherwise, & so the eating disorder team/unit cannot start treatment until the CMHT let go. I’m reaching the point where I don’t want help. It’s enevitable that I will get stolen, or my heart will just give the middle finger salute & give out, so why am I trying?
I will probably delete this at some point, I sound pathetic.
Dum dum dummm…
No it’s not that exciting an update.
In short, the reason that I’m not allowed to see a different psychiatrist or care co-ordinator (or have a second opinion, or seek therapy from a voluntary organization as I’m not allowed it on the NHS, or ask for help, or exist)… is because I have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. There is no point in me seeing someone new – I won’t like them because my personality makes me offensive & horrible to everyone anyway! I have no sense of boundaries or respect so there is no need for me to see someone else. I’m not having a personality clash with my care team - my personality just sucks ass!
So I contacted the NHS Complaints Department (& had a bit of a laugh at the message saying they were recieving a high volume of calls & therefore I’d need to leave a message) & now I am waiting for them to get back in touch. My GP is bordering on frightened of my psychiatrist since they keep sending them nasty letters, so there’s no point in going back there again.
It sort of makes me want to laugh. I’d like to think that my success at college & wide group of friends of varying ages is testimony to the fact that I may be mental, but I’m not horrible. But I admit, it’s really knocked me back. If my personality, if my being is that horrible… why am I trying? Maybe everyone in my life is feeling sorry for me. Maybe they are talking about me behind my back. I don’t deserve help, or fair treatment, or any human rights. I have borderline personality disorder – I am a bad, messed up, offensive, boundary-breaking, crazy person.
Which would make sense because I’m feeling so bad lately that I can’t be bothered being social. When I’m forced to be around people, I’m mute. BPD is a self-fulfilling prophecy, at least in my case. Obviously everything they are saying about me will be documented in my notes, which screws up any chance of me getting the kind of job I want. When it comes to DLA being renewed, I’m 100% sure they won’t agree I need any help, so there goes my money. They admitted that I’m having noticeable manic episodes & depressive episodes, different from those experienced in BPD - but they refuse to give me any medication for them. I’ve started self-harming again, to the point of needing stitches (& I haven’t been like this in over a year). They’re just watching me get worse & worse & they don’t care. They have no reason to care, because I have BPD & people with BPD don’t deserve care.
I’m very very tired of this.
Oh & the ED team haven’t got back in touch. I’m too fat to be helped. Oh dear.