February 19, 2011

Much to my surprise the doctor did phone me back yesterday. After flicking through a book and reading out random names of antipsychotics, he settled on sulpiride at 200mg which is one I haven’t heard of before. Cue a consultation of Dr Google. Apparently at doses from 50-200mg Sulpiride acts as a reuptake inhibitor of Dopamine and consequently has some anti-depressant properties. At doses of >600mg it is is a selective antagonist at postsynaptic D2-Receptors (whatever that means) resulting in antipsychotic properties.

Now, I’m confused. Firstly, what does it do between 200 and 600mg? That’s not particularly relevant, just of academic interest. Secondly, I thought I was meant to be taking an antipsychotic, not that I think I need one, in which case the dose is in no way sufficient? If not, and I’m meant to be using it as a second anti-depressant, will it make any difference to the first one (venlafaxine)? I guess I’m going to have to wait until I see the doctor on Wednesday and ask him then.

I’m also pretty pissed off with the pharmacy that cashed my prescription for me. Nobody asked if I’d taken the medication before and when I got home and looked in the box, they hadn’t provided me with the Patient Information Leaflet for the new drugs. This strikes me not only as poor service, but as downright dangerous. PIL’s have a lot of information in, ranging from side effects to look out for to what to do in the event of an overdose, as well as confirming the medication that you’re about to take does vaguely what you expect it to. Thankfully I’ve enough common sense to bring it up via google and have a quick read, but a lot of people out there won’t. Does anyone know if they’re legally required to supply such information, especially if you’ve never taken the drugs before? Or at the very least, are they required to ask you if you’ve taken the drugs before? I’d just feel an ickle bit safer if I thought the pharmacists actually gave a damn about what they were giving me.


My family, the NHS and me

February 17, 2011

On Monday morning I did not want to get out of bed. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get to sleep at the moment and then sleeping until lunchtime to compensate for it. Normally this is not a problem so I sleep but on Mondays, it’s voluntary work day so the extra time in bed isn’t an option. Normally it’s alright, I stay in bed until the last possible moment, roll out, throw on an uncoordinated outfit and run up the hill, to arrive approximately 3 seconds before I have to. This time though it just wasn’t happening and I just sat there in my pyjamas staring at the wall as the time at which I was meant to leave came, happened and then passed further and further into the distance. Eventually, with rather a lot of prodding from boyfriend, I removed myself from bed and made it to work, albeit an hour late.

My mum also works at the same school on a Monday so when break came round I was talking to her. I mentioned that I felt my mood was dipping a bit and this seemed to precipitate a crisis reaction in her. Within half an hour I was being dragged away from my class to an emergency doctors appointment. Given I still currently think I’m pretty fine, I feel this was a major overreaction. But I still talked to the doctor (one I don’t like), explained why I thought I was returning to a depression. I also mentioned stopping the aripiprazole. Given I stopped it over a month ago and it was at a tiny dose, I’m fairly sure it has nothing to do with the more recent mood changes. To the doctor though, it was clearly the only possible reason my mood could have changed. She tried to convince me to start taking it again but I steadfastly refused. Instead she’s going to talk to my doctor when he’s next in (friday) and they’re going to come up with a brand new shiny med for me to try. Just great. I really fail to see what an anti-psychotic is going to do for depression. I am not psychotic ergo I don’t need anything to stop it. However this being the NHS, pills is all they can offer so pills it will be.

I think I’m just about at the point of giving up with the NHS. I always had faith that no matter the flaws in the organisation, it would help when needed but that clearly isn’t the case. To be honest, I don’t know what I expect them to do for me anymore. My life ends in one way, the events of the last few years have made it inevitable. Maybe if I could get some decent therapy, my mind could be trained to see the world a little differently, but that’s never going to happen, the funding simply isn’t there.

The worst thing is now my parents know there’s a problem and so they throw their misguided attempts to help at the situation. For my dad this involves putting on a fake hyper-cheery attitude where everything is lovely and fluffy and isn’t the world a marvelous place. This involves plenty of strained smiles, a fake accent and lots of awkward questions. Apparently all I need is more commitments, get out and volunteer more, go on a bike ride once a week, eat more fruit. My mum backs this, if I’d just do more everything would be beautiful. Can’t they see that that’s just patronising bullshit? If I was capable of doing more I would.

Today I saw the psychiatric liaison nurse at the surgery again. We chatted for half an hour, she made some CBT type attempts to challenge the way I was thinking but I didn’t find it particularly helpful. We talked about whether university was the right decision or not but I don’t think any particular conclusion was made. If I go to university I’ll probably just fail. If I don’t go, I have to think of something else to do and in all honesty there’s nothing I fancy.

My boyfriend asked me the other day if I even wanted to get better as apparently I’m not doing enough towards it. Of course I want to, I just don’t realistically see it happening. And besides, I’m still fine remember?

I am well now

February 12, 2011

I am crying a lot, mostly over nothing. Two days ago it was a plant I killed (I fairly regularly kill plants, I am not the most green fingered of individuals), today it was a poem I read about a dog.

But I am well.

It’s getting harder and harder to leave the house. I make excuses – I’m busy, it’s cold, there’s something interesting on the telly. I won’t go out alone, the world is too scary without someone to hold my hand.

But I am fine.

I am sleeping more. Bed is a warm, safe haven where I can curl up without facing the responsibilities of the day. Falling asleep is hard, the memories haunt me.

But I am better.

I cut. Just once but there will be more. It feels good.

But I am ok.

I have increasing paranoia. My boyfriend is angry at me, he hates me, he’s not coming home. People on the street stare at me, they judge with their eyes.

But I am good.

I count my pills. I wonder what they would do, I think of the quiet, the release.

But don’t you see, this can’t be happening to me. I am well, fine, better, ok, good. This isn’t real.

I don’t stand a chance

February 9, 2011

I’m worrying a lot at the moment about going back to university. I don’t think I’m in any way ready or prepared for it, to be completely honest, I’m not even 100% sure it’s what I really want to do. I applied for the course as being the thing I could most see myself doing without it completely destroying me but the closer it gets the less sure I am that I have made the right decision. And even if the decision is right, am I realistically in a state where I can survive a 4 year high level university course?

I volunteer one day a week in a local primary school. It gets me out of the house, when I can get over the feeling of dread enough to go, and I enjoy the children’s company. Seven year olds are so wonderfully free and innocent and say and do the most adorable things. They make me happy. I don’t do a lot when I’m there. Listen to readers, file paperwork, correct spellings and the day only runs from 0845-1515 but by the end of it I am dead to the world. I come home and nap then I sleep all night and the next day I need copious naps to recover. If I can’t last one day of simple volunteering without massive disruption to the rest of my life, how am I going to cope with being in uni up to 5 days a week where the work is going to be much harder and I won’t always have the chance to nap when I get home?

I also think I’ve forgotten how to interact with people. The last occasion I spent time in the company of multiple people was at Christmas, and that was my extended family so it doesn’t really count. Since then I have had real life conversations with a grand total of six people. My boyfriend, his parents, my parents and the psychiatric nurse. I’ve also chatted to a few people on twitter but I don’t think that really counts. How am I going to cope when I have to make conversations with large numbers of people? I’ll be expected to be interesting, to share my life story, to explain why I’m coming to pharmacy as a mature student. What will I say? That I’ve spent the last 5 years going increasingly insane and have only just got on top of my head enough to start afresh. That’s going to go down really well.

And even if I can cope with the work, with the people, with the pressure, at some point I’m going to have to get NHS occupational health clearance to go on placements. Given I’m an attention seeking personality disorder sufferer with a history of substantial drug overdoses, am I realistically going to get it? It seems doubtful so I’ll be kicked off the course anyway.

Why am I even bothering?


February 8, 2011

Warning: This post talks about self-harm and probably reveals me to be a sick, twisted, attention seeking, borderline bitch.

Mood is still flat. I am compensating for this by reading books about puppies. BF has promised me a puppy when we move. I have always wanted a dog but my dad hates them so it’s a chance to do something I’ve always wanted and gives me something to really look forward to. I’m terrified that I’ll be a rubbish puppy mummy and probably traumatise the dog for life but if I read every book ever published on the subject at least I might have a chance. I’m hoping that a dog will help with my problems getting out the house and also get me some exercise. Plus it’ll make me liked because everyone loves a puppy and secretly all I’ve ever wanted is to be liked.

Anyway, this post wasn’t meant to be about puppies, cute as they are. I’m struggling at the moment with really strong visual flashbacks to the height of my depression which are proving to be completely unshiftable unless I work really hard on keeping my mind distracted. One is of me with a knife buried so deep in my arm that you can’t see the blade, attempting to take a picture with the other hand and being disappointed to find the camera battery flat. I wanted the photo because I thought it was vaguely interesting that you could do that and I thought people on t’interweb may appreciate seeing it too. What kind of fucked up individual am I?

There are others too. Me at the pub with an infection in my arm that’s caused it to swell to twice its usual size explaining that I didn’t need medical treatment, I was just fine, this was normal behaviour. Attempting to catch the blood I was losing in a cup so I could measure just how much it was and wondering how much would cause me any serious damage or make me feel any different. Working through the dressings in my first aid kit because nothing would stop the blood flow and then trying to explain them away the next day.

I can’t get rid of them and no matter how much they make me despise myself, I can’t help but feel slightly jealous of the girl that I was. I’m currently not self-harming for the sake of my BF but the flashbacks are reminding me of just how good it was. Why after how far I’ve come do I want to start again? What kind of crazy individual am I? I hate myself so much.

New house and other stuff

February 4, 2011

Right so where am I. Important news first. Boyfriend has bought us a house. As in a real proper 3 bedroomed semi within commutable distance of my soon to be university. The offer has been accepted now we’re just waiting for the solicitors to sort their end of things out and we can move. If you’re friends with me on facebook, you can see photos there. House is a bit of a state, hasn’t been redecorated in about 30 years so still has the truly spectacular 70s carpet and gloriously textured walls. Mmmm, sexy! There are walls to be knocked down and a conservatory to build. It’s going to be glorious when it’s finished but there’s a lot of work to be done. Kind of frustratingly in limbo at the moment as we can’t do anything until the conveyancing is complete which is going to take 6-8 weeks. We’ve chosen a kitchen and appliances. It’s all very domesticated.

Are we moving too fast? Probably but life’s too short. He must really love me to do this for me and yet I can’t help but doubt him. Since my last relationship crumbled, I’ve completely lost my faith in humanity. I have to ask him multiple times a day for reassurance that he loves me. I apologise for everything even that over which I have no control – bad weather, traffic jams. It’s like I’m trying to drive him away when all I want to do is reach out and hold him. Hold him for ever and ever where I’m safe and where nothing else seems to matter. Over-dependancy? Almost certainly but I can’t help it now it’s happened.

Mood is flat. I should be excited and looking forward but all I want to do is sit and stare. I can lose hours just staring at a laptop screen. mindlessly refreshing twitter and facebook waiting for something to happen which of course it never does. I have a constant monologue in the back of my mind. It goes something along the lines of “You’re a fat, ugly failure. You’re a fat, ugly failure”. Sometimes it’s loud and overwhelming, other times it’s quiet and distant but it’s always there. Tried to speak to the psychiatric nurse woman I see about it and she just tried to tell me it was normal to have low self esteem, and I just had to get over it. But if this is as good as it gets, then I don’t want it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suicidal. I just don’t see the point if I’m always going to feel this bad about myself.

I dunno. I should feel absolutely fantastic with the way everything’s going and I guess I’m disappointed that I don’t. Things are infinitely better than they were at this time last year and for that I’m eternally grateful. I just wish I could find some inner contentment and some security with things as they are rather than feeling like I’m killing time, waiting for them to go wrong again.