Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?
I have accepted my diagnosis for the most part. I get upset that I have to take medicine everyday. I get annoyed that I am going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I know that for my BPD I can get much better through therapy and even my PTSD can improve a lot with therapy. My bipolar is going to follow me all my life though. I have tried going off my meds and every single time I ended up in the hospital – repeatedly – 15 times – until I got committed to a state hospital.
I have accepted that I have to stay on my meds now. I have accepted that I need medications and I need therapy and I will battle these for the rest of my life.
I will be honest though, I am treated unfairly many times because of my borderline personality diagnosis. People think I am manipulative because of it. I personally, am not. I have doctors tell me that I tell them whatever I want to get the medications I want. The medications I have been on work perfectly for me – since I got out of the state hospital, my meds have kept me stable. The only med that hasn’t is my anxiety med – and I asked the state hospital to take me off of it because in the controlled environment in there, I thought I was better. I wish I hadn’t gone off of it. Now, everyone here thinks I am just manipulating them because of my BPD. There is more than just that instance though – I have heard it multiple times. I wish that my BPD diagnosis would just be taken off my chart.
But, it is what it is. I have what I have. I just need to continue to learn how to cope with it all and live with it all and focus my life on living better and coping better.
This blog has been a great release for me. I have also said I still struggle. At the moment, that last sentence is something that has been a problem for me.
It is a struggle that I am dealing with in a way I am not very much used to. In fact, anything that is misspelled or looks weird in this I am sorry.
I have been dealing with trauma therapy. It has been going well, I have an amazing therapist and am so grateful that I her. She has stuck by me even when I could be open right away. It is getting hardest though and I can’t stay present much. Im awake then Im interacting with someone. If I sit at home, going off, I dream, I imagine, I cry, its in my face, its happening to me. Im fighting on the floor. The thoughts are being yelled in my years
I took ambien cause I just feel myself leaving. I talked to a friend from my NAMI group. I told her that my meds have made me better. I am not severely depressed like how I was. I do find joy at times. I still have this underlying ever day depression though. I still have this need to die though. It is this bizarre need, like I have always felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive.
Is it because of the childhood abuse? Is it because of my genes? It is because of both? Nature, nurture, both?
I am not I will ever know what has cause my brain to hurt the way it hurts or have such hard feelings.
Anyway, I am on ambien and am completely falling asleep. So as I said there maybe a completely a million mistakes and this may make no sense. But I felt the need to write this.
Thinking our thoughts is hard. Ruminating on why things happen can consume our lives. From here, we really should just be asking, not why? but what now?
Not why did this happen. When did it happen?
But — What can I do now, from this point forward, what can I do?Where Can I go From Here
Anyway, I am posted this ahead of time, so it should be posted in a few days, but I am totally tired from the medication now… so if it appears as if I should have been awake when it is up and posted, this is why 🙂 Best wishes everyone ! For some reason this was on my mind and I felt like writing it, perhaps I will re-write it or a follow up later though.
Please add your thoughts as well!
What is a mistake I will never make again?
I won’t ever not ask for help again. I went for years not asking for help. Hiding my depression, hiding my pain. I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I didn’t want people to not love me or care about me. I wanted to be strong and competitive in this world. I wanted to prove I could be somebody.
Depression, Bipolar, BPD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, OCD, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Rape – whatever the mental illness or Trauma/Past is though – it doesn’t mean you are weak. It took me far to long to figure that out.
All I knew was that this world was about getting ahead. That is all that was preached to me in school – you have to do this, you have to do that. Learn this, learn that. Get into the best school, earn the highest grades. Take the ACT, the SAT. Apply, apply, apply. I was miserable, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
On top of that, I really didn’t believe I was going to be alive. I really thought I was going to be dead, either by a natural death or by suicide. I didn’t think I was actually going to have to live up to those expectations anyway. So I never asked for help.
Then there was also the little fact that it was brought to people attention that I needed help, and no one seemed to care – so why would I ask for help when no one wanted to help me in the first place when others told them I needed it?
After being miserable for years though, and then seeing what my life has been like with the right medications and proper therapy — I would give so much to go back and get these things earlier in my life. What a difference I think it would have made, how much easier my life would have been.
Even though people don’t always listen when we ask for help. I still will always ask for it. I still will always plead for it. I won’t give up. I will keep asking, I will keep begging, I will keep pleading for the help. If I need help – I will get it – no matter what. Because not asking for help, will just lead to my destruction. I know that now.
I look back at how bad my depression was over the last few years … in a previous online journal I had a post from January 22, 2011 at 6:28pm that simply stated:
The first two weeks of school have gone pretty good.
I need to die though.
Two sentences. Nothing else.
My depression was so bad, that even though my first two weeks of college (actually the last semester of my senior year) had been fine, I still felt the need to die. This was the year that my mental illness became extremely severe. This entry was posted a week after my first psychiatric hospitalization. Prior to my second hospitalization, which would result in me abruptly dropping out of school (on the semester I should have graduated) and deciding I wanted nothing to do with graduating as I had no reason to believe I would live any longer. And if I did indeed live, I did not need school. I wanted no degree from the college I was going to, I hated my college at the time, and I wanted nothing from them at all. I was much to amazing to have a college degree (woohoo bipolar delusions and suicidal ideations and reckless decisions). I did go back and get my degree though, although I am not using it at all thanks to my wonderful hospitalizations and instability.
It is amazing how set I was on death though. I had been depressed so much of my life, but this was the breaking point for me. How can we see that things are good, but still want death so much? The chemical imbalances in our brain and how they work are so –weird!
People ask me all the time why I am depressed. Which I hate by the way. I don’t know. Things can be going fine in my life, and I am just depressed. Which obviously this entry from 3.5 years ago shows — it seemed like things were fine, but I still was determined that I needed to die. The chemical imbalance in my brain was just completely off! That is how bipolar works, that is how major depressive disorder works, and schizoaffective, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses. It isn’t a simple switch that I can turn on and off.
Yes, I can change my thought process, that does help. But that alone does not fix me. As I have mentioned before, I need my medication. I am not someone who can go without my meds – because my diagnosis definitely is based on a huge chemical imbalance. Working on CBT helps a lot, but only when my medication is also working. Then I am stable enough to focus on using those technique to change my thought process too.
But — I guess, looking at this post from 2011… I also just think about how much it hurts to feel that way. To know that you can see your life going ok but to know that you still feel the need to get out of it. To have this deep desire to just escape. I haven’t felt that deep desire since January 2013 luckily, my meds have been working well since then, but I still have the thoughts and desires here and there. Not constantly though. It was a hard. It still is hard., but I’m learning to manage and it’s getting easier.
I saw my psychiatrist today. I wasn’t really the greatest appointment. I actually left feeling very discouraged and I’m not in the greatest mood. I think I’ve hit a road block.
I’ve really been struggling with my anxiety. I’ve always had bad anxiety. It was pretty well managed the last few years, although I was pretty overloaded on my last anxiety medication. When I was in the state hospital, the environment was very controlled and I thought I had gotten over it, so I transitioned off of my medicine (the valium). Upon moving though, I knew no one, was in a brand new state, and also began working on trauma therapy — my anxiety has been at an all time high once again. I deeply regret ever getting off anxiety medication. I cannot get my psychiatrist to give me medication other than vistaril, which has done nothing, and buspar which simply made it 100x worse. I understand that other medications are addictive, but I only want something to help me when I go into a panic attack just while I go through this trauma therapy, even if it just a few pills a month to get me through the worst of times. I am getting exhausted living like this – it has made me depression horrible.
He told me that he went through my medications I have tried in the past – not specifically anxiety, but everything. I have gone through a lot – and he said that medications don’t work for me. I was pissed, because the regimen I am on now has done a pretty good job for the last 1.5 years. I have been more stable than I have been in like 4 years. He has only seen me twice now (I go to a medical school, so they switch residents every two years when they graduate). He doesn’t even know me! Yes, he has my records, but I highly doubt he has read them! Does he really want to see me off my medication – because I am really considering just stopping it since he claims that they don’t even matter, despite the fact that I have seen how much they have changed my life. But if he says that, why would I waste my money?
He wants me to compliment my trauma therapy with DBT. Which would be fine, except the only place around me that does it, is 1 hour away (ok still doable), but they also don’t take insurance, or any insurance for that matter (not doable). I am already paying out of pocket to see him (supposed to be $124 dollars-what I was told….but I keep getting billed over $200 and while they tell me they will fix it, it never gets done). I live on disability right now, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for more therapy that my insurance wont pay for.
I guess I am just frustrated though because he basically told me that if my anxiety is that bad – I need to go to the hospital. What is the hospital going to do? Why can he not just help me? If he can’t help outpatient, why would the hospital be able to do anything different? Would they be able to prescribe me a medication? If they do–would he actually keep me on it? I’m not going to go spend a ton of money on a hospital stay when I feel like this should be able to be taken care of on an outpatient basis. I thought psychiatrists were supposed to try to keep you out of the hospital.
I have grown so much since 2011 when I first started having serious problems with my mental health. And I believe that each day I grow stronger. I know I also fall back though. I just feel like this is a set back for me. Or I shouldn’t say set back – its like a road block. A wall in my way. Another challenge. I don’t have help this time though. I don’t have a psychiatrist to help me get through it. And it sucks – it just sucks. I’m facing my pain and anxiety and depression on my own. I mean, I guess he cares in that he suggested the DBT, but he also knows I cant pay for it and he clearly doesn’t want to help me with medication – so I don’t feel like I have support. Now, I have to find the detour, the way around it – get past this road block.
I’m going to get through it. I just am going to have to work a hell of a lot harder and figure something out. I don’t know what yet though. I feel like I have tried a million coping skills.
So, I’m going to try to write some still, but I may be a little less frequent. I have some posts that I wrote ahead of time that are scheduled to be posted though, and those should show up. I am still going to try to get on here though, cause it does help. Ill just have to see how it goes I guess.
Tonight was a rough night.
Today actually started out amazing! I got great news – which I will reveal in a later post at some point.
But, the day ended horribly! I feel bad and I don’t feel bad at the same time. I went to a support group meeting and spent some time talking to a few friends after. We got into a discussion that just ended with me blowing up. I majored in sociology and am extremely open minded and liberal. Anyway, yes, I should have been more open to letting them have their views, but I guess when it comes to social issues regarding race and social justice – I just cant sit back on stuff when specific comments are made. They were not saying horrible things or anything of that matter – don’t get me wrong. But it still struck a chord with me. I just blew up, I lashed out, I yelled.
The things is, I feel bad about how I reacted, but I don’t feel bad about what I said. My anxiety and depression haven’t been the best lately, and I don’t want to blame my reaction on my mental illness, but I also don’t think I would have had that reaction if my meds were working correctly. I did gain control and just walk off – granted it was in the middle of me yelling – I walked off in the middle of it before I kept doing it.
I feel really bad though. I feel like a failure. I feel like I just messed up my life again. I literally started this day off on such a high note! And I ended up so low. When I woke up, I had this plan of completely starting my life over, not that I can’t still do that. I just feel like, if I was going to do that and then already fell so deep within 24 hours – how can I keep going?
I know I will get over this. I know life will go on. But getting into arguments with your friends sucks! These people are my main support system here. I go to this support group, and I only am close to a few of these people in it, and I just yelled at 2 of them. I don’t even know if I want to go back?! I know things will go back to normal, but it is going to take time. And that makes my anxiety worse, and my depression worse. I feel like I lost my support system – and it was my fault. I always screw things up.
I’m going to try to not think about it all though. I may take a day off tomorrow – I may get on and off here, look around, try to do the daily prompt, but if I don’t get on here — I think I might just take some time to decompress after what happened. Let out my pent up anger and anxiety that I have held in over the years from the abuse and trauma and everything else that I am only now dealing with.
I had no idea what was going on with me. I was 10 and sad. But I wasn’t just sad. I was really sad.
I was 11 and I wanted to die. I planned on how to die. Our school was taking a trip to Six Flags and I wrote out my suicide note, and I put it in my backpack and I was going to kill myself at the park. My mom found it though, she asked me if she needed to keep me home. I said I was fine and went to catch my bus. It was never talked about again.
I was 13 and still really sad. Suicide still ran rampant in my head. My art teacher found out. He found out about my home life. I trusted him. I thought he would help me. He said he was going to. But he took advantage of me. He made me do things to him. He did things to me. He verbally abused me. He sexually abused me. He hurt me. I believed all his lies. He molested me and hurt me and fucked me up so bad. I wanted to die more than ever before.
I was 14 and moved to a new city. Life was worse than ever before. A new school and no friends. My school counselor found out about what my teacher did. Chaos broke out. I didn’t want to deal with it. I began cutting. I did not tell the police everything. He was never charged. My depression became more severe. I became sick from stress. I missed more than half the school year and stayed home because I was “sick.”
I was 15 and 16 and 17 and high school happened. My depression trapped me. I faked my smiles and I wore my mask. I immersed myself in school work. I tried to pretend like I was happy and make myself believe I was. Deep down I was choking, I could barely breathe. Every day I planned my death. I didn’t even believe I would make it to graduation. Surely I would do something before then.
Graduation came and went. I was 18. College was a new start. Surely life could start over now. I was raped. My mental health went down hill. For the first time in my life I was put into counseling. I couldn’t talk though. I didn’t know how to express myself. I isolated more than ever. I cried more than ever.
Therapy continued and I made no progress, but I just kept going. I kept my emotions in for so long that I just avoided everything. I turned 21 and my life went upside down. My arm was paralyzed. I lost control. Again. The molestation. The rape. My arm. I had lost control again. I needed to die now. My depression consumed me. The year was 2009.
Trigger Warning – the next paragraph mentions a suicide attempt
I had many suicide attempts. My worst was in May 2012 though. I had strategically overdosed on Tylenol. After being given the antidote (Mucomyst) and Reglan, both of which I had reactions to, I was transported to the ICU where I spent 4 days before being sent to the psychiatric hospital. This was not my first time in the ICU but it was the worst attempt I had. And it was also somewhat of a wake up call. It was my last attempt, but not my last visit to the psych hospital.
Between January 2011, my first psychiatric hospitalization, and October 2012 – I had 15 psychiatric hospitalizations and ended up with three diagnosis (bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder). On that last hospitalization I was committed for 6 months to the state hospital. I was terrified, but at the same time, I was so frustrated and sick of life, I really didn’t care what happened to me. I was so sure that I would kill myself no matter what anyone did and that I had no future, that it didn’t matter to me. The state hospital was the best thing that happened to me though.
On Halloween of October 2012 I went to the state hospital via the backseat of a Sherriff’s car. It was a two hour drive and it took me to a life changing experience. I had the best psychiatrist, psychologist, nurses, rec therapist, music therapist, group therapists, psych techs, dietician, and other support staff possible. They were all determined to get me and others back on the right track. I left the hospital in April 2013 more stable than I had been in a long time. On the correct combo of meds and with coping skills that I actually felt comfortable using.
Today, in 2014, I still struggle. I have been hospitalized since being out of the state hospital. But in no way am I in and out like I was two years ago. I take my medication and I acknowledge that I need it. I accept that I have a mental illness and I try to educate myself about them. I attend therapy and participate in it actively. I am working through my PTSD which has been a huge factor in my hatred of myself and life. I am always working on improving and finding new coping skills. I continue to attend my support groups.
I know I can continue to fight. I know I don’t have to let it consume me anymore. I don’t have to let it win. It still knocks me down sometimes. I just have to make sure I keep getting back up.
Don’t take me! I don’t want to go. I’m not going!!!
Going to a psychiatric hospital can be incredibly scary. There are a lot of horror stories about them. And for the most part, in today’s society, the horror stories are not true. I say “for the most part” because I know that for some people, they have had bad things happen to them. But, in general, most facilities are safe places, where people can go and get the care they needed. They are not strapped down for hours and hours, stabbed with needles, and/or drugged up and drooling on a couch.
As I have mentioned a few times on here before, I have a little bit of experience with psychiatric hospitalizations. 17 different hospitalizations to be exact – at 7 different facilities.
- 1 in Texas
- 4 in Indiana
- 2 in Florida
Out of all of these facilities, I would say I had bad experiences at 2 of them, and out of those 2, only one of those was a really horrible experience, and I would say I would absolutely never want to be admitted to that hospital again. Despite that, I know people that have been admitted to that hospital, and have had completely different experiences than me – so I don’t know, perception of how I compared it to the other hospitals I went to maybe?
All of these hospitalizations ranged in time differences – from as short as 3 days to one as long as 6 months at a state hospital (that hospital was probably the best hospital I was ever at).
The reason why I really am writing this, is because far to often people talk about their bad experiences at the psych hospital. No one really talks about how much it might have helped them. This tends to scare people off from actually going and getting help when they need it. They are scared they might lose their kids, or they will never get out, they will be restrained and tied to a bed, they will be treated bad.
This isn’t true though. I can’t promise every hospital is going to be amazing. It isn’t a 5 star hotel, and some hospitals are newer and better than others. But it is a safe place if you are in danger of hurting yourself or others. It is a place for you to get help. Unless there is abuse or neglect of your kids where they are in immediate danger, they wont take away your kids if you have someone to watch them while you are there – you will get them back (per every situation I have ever encountered with people that have had kids). You might be there 1 day (unless you are under a 72 hour hold), or you might be there a month – but that is between you and the doctor and how you feel you are doing. If you are not a danger to yourself or others though, they cannot keep you in there against your will.
I know it might not seem like the hospitals helped me at all, considering I was in and out of them so much. But they did! They saved my life. If it wasn’t for them, I would be dead. I would go on and off my medication, I was non compliant. I didn’t think I needed help. I didn’t know how to accept the help. Every time I went in I hated life and wanted to die – or had actually attempted suicide. They would bring me back to reality, get me back on my meds. Get me into the group therapy there, the techs would talk to me, the psychiatrist would talk to me. I relearned how to use my coping skills. I got stabilized. For the time being anyway. For me, it took more than an acute care hospital – it took the state hospital. For most, it doesn’t take that though. But for me, that state hospital literally saved me from destruction.
I spent 6 months there and I was scared to go. When they told me I was being committed I was scared. Yet, I didn’t even think much of it at the same time. I was so over hospitals and assumed I would kill myself no matter what it didn’t phase me. In the end, after 6 months, I was a new person. Yes, I still struggle, but I think about how much time and effort everyone put into teaching me how to live again, not just survive in life but actually live. The psychiatrist, nurse, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, techs, recreational therapists – it was amazing how much everyone cared.
People at psych hospitals do care. It is a not a gloomy place where patients are catatonic and drugged up, tied to chairs and beds. Groups take place, patients make friends, support is given. I still have friends from some of my hospitalizations in the acute care hospitals and friends from the state hospital. And we keep in touch more often than other friends because they understand me much better.
If you need help, reach out. Take it. It is there. Don’t be scared.
Since my therapy session on Friday morning my anxiety has been absolutely ridiculous. Normally I have somewhat of an on and off low grade general anxiety and a very high social anxiety. Then there is the panic attacks associated with my PTSD when I have a flashback or nightmare or something of that sort. Since Thursday night/Friday morning though, I have had intense anxiety. My heart has stayed at a high rate, I cannot seem to sit still, I actually feel incredibly exhausted from it all, and I am feeling somewhat depressed and have cried off and on.
My therapist told me to go walking as I used to do this quite a bit for my anxiety to get the energy out. I tried to do this on Friday and Saturday. Friday I just broke out into tears about 30 minutes into it. I wasn’t just slowly walking either, I was going in intervals of walking/jogging. But the energy and anxiety just wasn’t leaving me.
I recently changed anxiety medications. But my previous one wasn’t doing anything at all. I am not sure if this new one is making things worse or therapy is just bring up new emotions. I also just came back from the family reunion which was quite difficult for me and I think brought up a lot of memories too.
Getting through this weekend has been incredibly hard. I cannot wait until tomorrow morning when I can call my psychiatrist and beg him to raise this dosage or give me something to get through until the next appointment, or make the appointment earlier. This anxiety is really getting to me! It doesn’t even seem like my coping skills are helping me anymore.
If anyone has any insights into how they deal with anxiety when their meds aren’t working or if they don’t use meds at all, please let me know because I could really use the help.