We Need To Talk

Rethink and a whole host of other leading Mental Health charities and organizations have launched a campaign to try and persuade the NHS to offer Talking Therapies to those diagnosed with severe mental illness within 28 days. You can read the We Still Need To Talk Report here.

I’d like to tell you a little about my journey with Talking Therapies in the past. Continue reading

200+

Black and White image of a Shadow of Me

Me from in front of the sun

Off the bat, this is my 200th published post on IJAR. It’s taken me far to long to get this far and I should be hanging my head in shame at my total crap status as a blogger. Really I am not that worried. I have posted more posts elsewhere that if I hadn’t had other blogs would probably have ended up here anyway. You can find my other blogs, they are all well signposted. I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that I had made it to 200.

The reason for this post is kind of a follow on to my last post about being discharged from front line Mental Health services. In my last post I was very gung ho about the fact and I was all up for the fact that in a few short weeks I would be going it alone with only the back up of my GP, who I don’t have total faith in, but have very little chances of moving away from due to GP shortages in this area. Over the past week to ten days thoughts have been crossing my mind that are not exactly casting doubts on my pending discharge, but more along the lines of what happens to the rest of the things I have relied on CMHT to provide.

I have no idea if I should be contacting benefits agencies about the team discharging me. Yes it is a change in my circumstances, but I know I am still ill. I know I am doing better, but I also know that I am in no way ready to go back into a work place. There is no documentation about this. Who decides? Please if you know the best course of action from here, please let me know either in the comments or by sending me an email (you can find the email button over there —>.

My group finishes this next Monday. It’s been 20 weeks and I have found them in turns informative, frustrating and hugely humbling. I have learned so much about an illness I don’t have, but can identify with.  One thing that really did force itself home during these past 20 weeks and the emotional journey that I went on whilst being with that group of people, Labels Don’t Matter at all. All that matters is that you are comfortable in your own skin and to a certain extent, mind. One of the things I know I will most probably never achieve is total peace. I have to much twisted thinking and the voices will always be there and I have to keep developing ways to drown them out and keep my equilibrium about as even as I can. Doing this will lead me to a stronger base where I can move on and actually state with 99% certainty that I am in Recovery and I am going to be well. It’s a road that I have found and I have a pretty good map to guide me, I just don’t have a very good compass to keep me on that path yet… but I am working on it.

Until Next Time…

Discharged

Yesterday was a day that started way to early and finished way to late. With the exception of roughly 5 hours it was spent in hospital waiting rooms and other sundry hospital related rooms.

I was sat in an out of hours Doctors waiting room at about 11pm last night and started writing this blog post and once I finally got home at 1am this morning, I really didn’t have the where with all to finish it off. So this post is an abbreviation of what I had to say yesterday.

I had my CPA meeting yesterday. As I tweeted last Friday, I was preying for a Belfastian Snow Storm, it didn’t arrive so I had to go. I have made no secret that I have issues with my Consultant Psychiatrist. She has made some rather crazy statements in the past and I haven’t agreed with her very often. I do have to thank her for reawakening me 2 years ago when she saw that I was obviously over medicated and she was very quick in reducing my medications and really restoring me back to the world of the living.

Yesterday, I acknowledged this and we started the meeting off on a surprisingly up note. I didn’t see what follows coming. It really was a bolt out of the blue. For a start she didn’t mention the BPD/EUPD (whatever). She did however refer to my condition to be so much better than it was when she first met me. I had to agree. I have been pretty much “stable” for the past 6 months. There have been ups and downs as there always have, but with what I have learned through the groups I have attended, I have handled the issues better and better. Over the past 14 weeks with what I have learned and tried to put into place with the STEPPS group things are falling into place more and more.

One thing I have realised is that I am unsure what I should be diagnosed as. Yes, I believe I have Bipolar Affective Disorder and yes I do have SOME traits of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. I don’t fit all of the criteria of the latter, but I do think that everyone in society will have traits of that, but when you add in Bipolar to the mix things are amped up and can cause some rather funky results.

Back to the CPA.

The whole meeting carried on in a similar vein. She praised me to the top of the hill and back. It was like things had magically solved themselves over the past 6 months. I felt more and more empowered by what she was saying. She made points to me that made me realise the great strides I had made.

It was decided that there would be no changes to my medication and then it happened… the BUT in every conversation I had ever had with my Consultant came. The BUT this time floored me like a prize fighter with a glass jaw.
“We are going to release you back to your GP at the end of the STEPPS group in 6 weeks time”

I was dumbfounded. My CPN had been hinting at this for close to a year, but he always made it sound like it was something happening to other patients. It was always the discussion that the services they were offering were by and far over stretched and things were changing in the way they offer their services. Yesterday I became one of those OTHER patients and my heart skipped a beat and then I revelled in the joy that other were seeing in me that I was getting better.

They laid out the plan for what will happen when this current group ends. I will be placed in to what they called “Shared Care”. I don’t know if that’s just a name they have created in my area or if it’s a national thing. It was never mentioned back up in Corby (EVER). I had questions that I needed answers to, but yesterday wasn’t the day for them. I do know that my care through the CMHT will not end they after I finish the group, there has to be a crossover period where everything is explained in full to me and my family. So you could say I found out what my birthday present will be a couple of months early.

One thing I am going to do before this whole thing happens is change my GP. I am more certain now that my current GP is not the right person for me to go through this process with. By his own admission he refers people very quickly if he is unsure. I really need support from people who will refer me if it is deemed totally necessary, but will also have the ability to take a look at my notes and be able to try and rationalise what is happening in the present moment with an eye on the past. It has always been my goal within Mental Health services to NOT be in Mental Health services. I really don’t want to be bouncing back and forward on a whim, which is what I think would happen with my current GP. So that is one more thing to be added to my list.

As the meeting was drawing to it’s natural conclusion, we discussed what I had been doing to keep myself occupied. I told her about my work with Rethink and that I had been writing more “offline” stuff. When she heard that I had been writing more it seemed that a light switched on and she remembered something she had been meaning to say. She had been to see a play about Mental Health and people who suffer from illnesses like the one(s) I do and she suggested that that could be something I could do for this area. She also suggested that I try and get involved with speaking to groups of people about my experiences within and without the CMHT and living with the Mentalz. Again this just spurred me on even more at where I cold be going in the next 12 to 18 months ahead.

I am under no illusions that it’s going to be easy out there on my own, but I do know that I have a few new gadgets to play with that might help make my days a little easier.

As a short footnote… I started writing this at 10.30pm Monday night in a Doctors Waiting Room and it is now just after 1am on Wednesday. It’s not that I am a slow writer, it’s just that I got distracted with a life that no longer revolves around my own worries of how my Mental Health is affecting me and how  I can best beat the situation.

Until Next Time…

NB – *When you read the word yesterday.. Imagine yesterday was Monday*

Sneaky

I have sat here this morning and reflected back at the past week or so and I have realised that depression has snuck up on me again. It really is a sneaky bastard. I knew I was having problems a couple of days ago where I was having increased voices in my head trouble, but this morning it’s all too evident that things are not going as planned. Continue reading

Brain Dump

I mentioned sometime last year that I was starting a new group at the CMHT. The name of the group is STEPPS. It’s not MY group I am just a participant in the group. As you can tell from the link the group is aimed at BPD patients or in “my case” Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (eye-roll). Anyway, whatever the reason I am there I have decided to make the most of the chance I have and try and get some new tools to get me through the minefield that is my life at times. Continue reading