So I am still a week and a half behind with what has been going on. Oops.
That Saturday night I was having really strong suicidal thoughts; they seemed to be getting stronger and stronger each day, and I seriously considered acting on them – I had planned what I wanted to write in my note, I had planned what I wanted to happen to what money I have etc etc. But since I had agreed to seeing the crisis team the next morning, as I didn’t want to go to A&E again, I found I was in a difficult position, as although remote, there was a chance they may have offered some more help or something, and as I have said before, I feel like if there is an option other than suicide, then that needs exploring first. I don’t mean distant, long-term things that are months away, but things that are immediate possibilities. So I forced myself to get through Saturday night, and saw the crisis team on Sunday morning. They were predictably useless. I was feeling absolutely horrific, and they just did the usual of telling me to try to distract myself, and said that they would speak to L the next morning. It was entirely pointless, which I had been virtually sure it would be, and I was desperately wishing I had just acted on the thoughts the night before.
That afternoon I had to go to a rehearsal. I desperately didn’t want to go, and was really looking for any excuse whatsoever – I had hoped the crisis team visit would coincide with it, but unfortunately it didn’t, and my mum said to me that if I was going to go ahead with the show, which essentially I had to do as it was only two weeks until the performance week, and to me dropping out at that point was not a valid option unless I was dead. The rehearsal was one of the hardest things I have ever done I think. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it was just horrible. I was there for over four hours, and I was just feeling like complete shit – I was exhausted, I couldn’t concentrate, I was very anxious, there were too many people, it was too much noise – it was just everything I couldn’t cope with. I also clearly looked like absolute crap as so many people asked if I was ok – I used the headache and tiredness excuse, both of which were actually true, as I had a really bad stress headache, and was obviously exhausted. Several times I just found the main rehearsal room too much and had to go off into another room and ended up bursting into tears, despite the Diazepam. I was also very stressed as I didn’t know my lines, because of my complete lack of concentration, and the director was insistent that everyone knew them for the rehearsal the next day when we were running Act 1, so when I got home from the rehearsal I had to try to learn lines, which was just the last thing I felt up to doing. I was wishing more and more that I had acted on my thoughts weeks before, as I was utterly convinced that was the right thing to do.
Monday was fairly uneventful, but there had been a very slight shift in my mood. Although I was still feeling terrible, I didn’t have quite the same level of desperation as I had in the days before. I skipped ballet yet again that day, and went to rehearsal – again looking and feeling like shit, but I got through it. Diazepam really is a wonderful drug! Tuesday I saw L. There was obviously quite a lot to talk about, as I hadn’t seen her for two weeks, although I had spoken to her the previous week, and of course a lot had been going on. She was really supportive, as she had been on the phone the previous week. She told me some things which explained why she had been more distant lately, and apologised for not giving me as much support as I needed. The previous week I had spoken to the manager one day, as he had been the duty worker when I phoned in, and he said that they would look into allocating someone else to see me on the alternate weeks that L couldn’t, as it seemed that fortnightly contact wasn’t enough, and that there was a new social worker starting in a few weeks and that she would be a possibility. When I saw L though, she said that she had decided that she was going back to seeing me weekly whenever possible. Although she has cut down her hours, most weeks she is there at least part of the time, and some weeks all of the time, so she said she would see me weekly unless things changed and she had to have more time off, in which case she would ask someone else, probably the new social worker, to become involved and see me when she couldn’t. So I am now back to seeing her weekly, although there are conditions involved – she said we need to make sure we are working to some specific goals and targets, rather than just talking about things generally, although obviously we will be doing that as well. I appreciate that she has gone back to seeing me weekly, as I think it was a little bit of controversy over it with her manager from what she said, as most people she is only seeing monthly, and some fortnightly. She also said that I could see Dr E the next day, but rather than seeing her at the CMHT where I usually see her, it would mean going up to the hospital, as she was the psychiatrist on duty for MHA assessments that day, and when they do that they have to be based at the hospital, but she could apparently see me first thing. I said that would be fine, and so L said she would pick me up at 8:30am. Ouch.
My appointment with Dr E was ok. When we were in the car park, L had her window wound down as she had to put her ticket in to get into the car park, and as L was parking someone got out of a car near us and dropped quite a lot of stuff. I said ‘oopsy!’ and L asked what had happened, and I said ‘they dropped stuff everywhere’ followed by ‘oh crap, I forgot your window was open’. Then the person turned around, and of course it was Dr E. Naturally. Her and L and gone to talk alone so that L could bring her up to speed whilst I stayed in the waiting room, and when she came to get me she apologised for running late and said she was having one of those mornings, as she thought I had seen in the car park. Ah. Yes. She did hear me then. The actual appointment was fine. Dr E isn’t the terribly sympathetic kind – she is nice but she is very matter of fact and straight talking. She didn’t really ask much about how I was feeling – it was mostly about symptoms etc. She asked about the anti depressants the GP had prescribed, and why I hadn’t taken them, which I told her, and she said that was fair enough and she wasn’t that keen on Seroxat anyway – that she found that for most people it didn’t have a massive impact in terms of benefit, and was then a nightmare to come off. She asked why I thought anti depressants might help now when they didn’t seem to have helped in the past, and I said that this had been the worst patch I had ever experienced, and that it was over a year since I had been on anti depressants, and I thought it was worth a try. She said that was fine, and that she was happy to prescribe something, but that she didn’t want to get into a pattern of one medication not working and trying another and another and another etc – that she would prescribe one, or perhaps two, but that was it – if they didn’t help then we stopped looking down the medication route. I am not entirely sure about this, as I know quite a few people who have needed to try lots of different medications, and combinations of medications, before they have found one that helps them, but I agreed to that. She asked if there was anything I didn’t want to take, and I said Mirtazapine or anything else that would make me gain weight. She said she would prescribe Sertraline, which is a medication I have been on before, but that was six years ago. She said that recent studies have shown it to be the most effective, or one of the most effective, of the SSRIs, and that it has few side effects. So she prescribed 50mg for one week, then 100mg for the next 5 weeks, then she would see me again to see how it was going, and probably increase it further then. So that was that. Actually, she did spend quite a long time with me – probably far longer than what I have written here would imply, and was quite thorough in going over everything that had happened, and what was going on, and then discussing medications – it was actually fairly long for a psychiatrist appointment. But then that was the first time I had seen her since June.
This is another stupidly long post, so I will stop now, and write Part 4, which will bring me up to date (finally!) either tonight, or sometime tomorrow.