Am I getting better yet?


It's been a while since I wrote about what's generally going on with my brain and the day hospital etc so I'm taking advantage of being overly productive and writing now!

Venlafaxine has definitely had an impact on my moods. I think I'm less depressed but I am having phases of being almost hypomanic, like now for example. I can only recognise it because everything is so completely different to my 'normal'; I was fixated on finished the new blog layout and literally spent my whole day working, I'm spending money without any real concern - see New Look for one such incident! It also happened in Tesco when I ended up randomly spending about £25 on candles. I could have spent a hell of a lot more but thankfully I pulled myself away. Perhaps if I was alone rather than with the boyfriend things would have ended differently. Meh. That's not the only signals I've got though; my thoughts are somewhat clearer but relentless. The world seems to move buy a lot faster than normal. Colours are almost too vivid. Insomnia is creeping back in. The list goes on and on and on.

When I crash, it really sucks. 

Is 150mg venlafaxine causing this? Is the dose too high? Is there something else going on?

At the request of my GP I am meeting a new psychiatrist next Tuesday. We need to discuss adding quetiapine to my medications but there are some awkward questions that come with this. Quetiapine is an anti-psychotic. In lower doses it can be used to manage anxiety and sleep problems, there's talk of it being used to treat depression in mid-range doses but traditionally it's used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Now. I'm not schizophrenic, but I do have psychotic symptoms. This is probably the first time I've mentioned this here, but this is a mental health blog and it's not going to be much use if I'm censoring myself. I'm not entirely sure my boyfriend even knows this to be honest! It's been a part of my life for a very long time and I've almost learned how to live with some parts of whatever this is.

It all started when I was about 7 when I started hearing voices. Every night I was convinced there was a group of people downstairs talking in our living room, and I'd beg my mum to go and check. There was never anyone there. It got to the point where the only way I could go to sleep was to listen to books on tape or music like Enya. I still have to do this now and it feels terribly pathetic. Occasionally it backfires and I start hearing terrifying things through the radio and will spend those nights unable to sleep at all. A new addition to this problem is sometimes I'll hear whispering coming from the TV.

In addition to that, from the age of about 12 I started hearing voices during the day. It was familiar in that I was hearing conversations but it felt/feels as though they were talking about me. Over the years I've had more come to join them who each have their own brand of evil. The scariest one is when 'it' is trying to convince me that a particular method of self-harm would make them go away when in all probability it'd kill me. They also give me suicide plans. 

I was honest about this during my assessment last month at the day hospital and is why they admitted me so quickly. I am very lucky that I have insight on my side right now... If I didn't, I'd be in the acute unit.

So if living with that wasn't shitty enough, I also see things that other people can't. This isn't anywhere near as constant as the voices, thank god, but still scares the **** out of me. The first 'hallucination' I experienced was seeing demonic faces in windows when I was 14. You know how you can mist up a window when you breathe on it to then write on it or whatever, that's what it looked like. Shortly after that I started seeing a little girl; she never did/does anything but stand at the end of the bed or sofa and stare at me, but sometimes she decides to appear right infront of my face and scream at the top of her voice. Her mouth gets ridiculously big and her teeth are all pointed and there's way too many of them. Her eyes are black.

About 4 years later I was confronted with a 7ft tall, faceless monk. I say monk because he wears on of those hooded robes, it's a dark-ish brown and is made of wool. He either traps me in rooms by standing in doorways or just follows me around.

I also see spiders and feel bugs crawling under my skin or in my ears. This was considerably worse when I was drinking.

I also used alcohol to deal with being around people as I thought/still do think that if I talk too much or make eye contact they can see into my head and will instantly know what I've lived through and use it against me.

Sadly. I have been honest about this with mental health professionals right from my first contact with them at the age of 18 but it was always ignored. I have absolutely no idea why but it's made it a lot harder to talk about, as I just feel like they're convinced I'm lying. Why would I lie about that?! Why would anybody?!

Is it any wonder I've ended up with chronic fatigue syndrome with all that as well as PTSD?

All I want, at the age of 25, is to be out of the mental health system and to be on medications that will allow me to study, work and be a normal person. It's been too long now. Way too long.

I am not exactly hopeful about being treated with respect and actually being listened to by this new psychiatrist but there's always hope... I have met wonderful doctors at The Priory and Addaction, so I know they do exist. It's just the NHS that seems to attract psychiatrists with absolutely no enthusiasm for their job and have lost all capability to feel any kind of emotion.

So we'll see what happens.... I wonder what diagnosis he'll slap on my records....

The day hospital is helping somewhat and I'd really like to carry on with art therapy alongside whatever groups I'm meant to be doing soon. Here's what I wore on my latest trip:


Coat: Topshop. Scarf: Accessorize. Cardigan: Topshop. Striped top: New Look. Black Jeggings: Dorothy Perkins. Black ballet shoes: Topshop. Shoulder bag: Cath Kidston

So yeah, that's where I'm at right now. It's not great but we're going to Centre Parcs next month which will be great, especially if spring decides to arrive! We're going there to celebrate our 4 YEAR anniversary. I'm a very lucky girl.

I might have a million reasons to want to call it a day and end my life now before any more shit comes along, but I have two massive reasons to stick around. The potential for a happy life with a normal family with the person I've loved for much longer than the 4 years we've been an item, and my furry angel Lily! She needs her mummy. The voices will lie to me, and almost win at convincing me that I'll never have what I wish for in my life, and they'll make sure that history continues to repeat itself.... But I'm at a point where I can see an alternative in the distance and maybe, just maybe, it's possible to free myself from this life with the help of medications and a lot of support from my occupational therapist!

Time will tell.....

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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