Friday, 17 October 2014
I spoke to all my doctors and was really glad that they put the choice in my hands instead of deciding for me.
Once I made the decision, I just wanted to get on and try it. The first couple of weeks are always nasty and i wanted them to be over and done with. Unfortunately, the doctors were incredibly thorough (blah!) and wanted to have meetings with me and do tests before they made any final decisions (OK fair enough). I waited and waited...and waited to hear more. The whole time I was just wanting to get it over and done with.
Eventualllly, I got a phone call from my pharmacy saying that my new medication had been waiting for me for 3 months and was i going to pick it up. Yes, the whole process wasn't exactly slick but finally i would get to see if it worked.
I am 2 weeks into taking the Sulpiride now and I am knackered! Thank goodness i'm not nauseous but i am spending most of my time sat down and i struggle even opening the front door. I think it maybe starting to work though. It's too early to make any statements but i feel that the nagging in my head has dulled a bit and sometimes I don't think about them at all. It could just be I am having a good few days but shall keep this post updated.
If a person was to break their leg, they would go immediately to A&E. True, there maybe long waiting times but eventually you would get help. Sadly, however there is little help for having a mental health crisis. People can call the emergency numbers but unfortunately there is little to nothing they can do.
There is a Crisis line which is fantastic but they can only open certain hours. The problem with mental health breakdowns is that they usually happen at night. When I have had a crisis it has been at night when i am alone with my thoughts and there is no-one around to help.
Sometimes all you need is to talk to someone and at these times charities such as the Samaritans are invaluable. However, I don't think we should have to rely on them. There are other times when you need physical, face to face care, with a person who is trained. Hopefully at some point in the near future there will be a 24 hour emergency line for people having mental health crisis. This would also show that it is a problem that is beginning to be taken seriously.
Monday, 28 July 2014
Over the years I have seen so many GPs, Specialists, Nurses, Counsellors, Psychologists and many, many more. Some have been brilliant, some ok and some have been pretty damn useless.
At the moment, I consider myself very lucky. I visit the epilepsy department at Poole Hospital about twice a year. As well as having a specialist in Epilepsy, they have Epilepsy Nurses who I think of as translators. I can go to an appointment with my Specialist and come out not having a clue what he was talking about. When I see the Nurse, she will translate all the medical stuff into words that normal people understand. I then have the 'Ohhh right, now I get it' moment.
When I lived in Worthing however I had a terrible time. There was a serious lack of help for people like me. I saw several GPs and eventually got a phone number for the Neurology department at my local hospital. When I called to book an appointment there was a wait of 2 months to see the only Neurologist. I know this is the case for many people.
It's also very difficult getting help from GPs as well. I noticed when I saw different Doctors initially, regarding paranoia and hearing voices, they all seemed to hone in on different aspects of what I was saying. Some only talked about panic attacks, some self harm, some the voices and very rarely the fact that I was on anti-epileptics. Fortunately, when I moved to Bournemouth, my new GP listened to all the different aspects I was talking about and tried to work it out as a whole. Finally! I had someone who was listening.
Since then I have seen Psychiatrists and Psychologists (yes, there is a difference). It can be very difficult to open up to them to begin with. It kind of feels like you are taking all your clothes off in front of a stranger (although that is something I don't often do). It's pretty tough trusting someone enough to tell all your problems when you are already completely paranoid and feel like everyone thinks you're crazy. I did at one point see a counsellor who gave me the worst piece of advice. I had mentioned at one point how I had been dealing with a difficult relationship and she suggested I tell him I was pregnant to get his attention. I never went back to see her and it made me even more wary about talking in depth about my problems with people. The people I have seen since however have been more helpful. I feel much more supported which in turn makes me come out of my shell.
I think the main thing I have learned in the last year or so, is that all these Doctors are different and it is a very personal thing as to who will be more helpful. In the same way as one kind of medication may work for one person but not for another. I have realised that it is always ok to say 'I don't feel comfortable with that doctor, can I see someone else please?'
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Please look at the link below
Rethink.org view on NICE psychosis guidelines.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
The first person I told was my friend Martin. Although we haven't seen each other much since college, I will forever be grateful for the way he reacted with absolutely no judgement. I really don't remember what I actually said to him but I do remember that he didn't run away screaming. I had expected that there would be some kind of awkwardness and that maybe I would end up retreating into myself and pretend I'd been joking. Instead he was comforting. He pointed out that I was on mind-bending drugs for epilepsy which made me suddenly think, maybe I'm not such a freak. He told me about a bad experience he had when taking a recreational drug and it seemed that he understood that things can seem so real and scary, even when they're not real.
After finally talking to someone openly about what I was experiencing, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I was still being tortured by the voices and feelings, but I knew now that I could start talking about it.
Telling my family was terrifying. They have always been so open and loving but the voices were still telling me not to trust them. I think initially I just said that my stresses and anxieties had returned and I thought I may be having problems with my medication. At this point I had started seeing GP's asking for help which I had told my parents. None of them seemed to understand however and I was really having to push to see a Neurologist. I was exhausted and depressed and decided that I needed to go home to Dorset. I needed to go to the hospital that knew me and be with my family. So, I had to tell them. As soon as had, I knew the voices were wrong and that I could trust them completely.
The more I talked the more comfortable I felt. People weren't looking at me like I was a nutcase, they were just sad that I was going through this. It made me feel less alone and much more open. I still find it difficult to talk about certain things but the more I do, the easier things are to say. I have never had a negative experience from talking to people about my paranoia and hallucinations, just people not understanding. I hate the idea of it making other people feel awkward but usually that is just because they don't understand. Mental health is not something that is often talked about (hearing voices is a particular taboo) so how is anyone supposed to have an understanding. I have found that if I talk honestly and with confidence, then people feel more at ease and interested more than anything.
Being open about the voices hasn't solved all my problems but talking about it was my first step to getting better and just knowing that I am not alone.
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
I have lacked self-belief since about 10 when I was bullied at school. Although, that only lasted a year a lot of the insults and feeling that there was something wrong with me, stayed. I also think it is partly genetic as I have members of my family who have struggled with low self-esteem.
I think it is quite possible that I would still have had some problems with my mental health but I believe that the medication exacerbated them.