Saturday, 5 July 2014

Canned Soup, Flashbacks & The Mental Health Nurse

On Wednesday I had my fourth appointment with the Mental Health Nurse, and for the first time I left with the feeling that something might potentially help.

She said she was worried about my depression. She asked if anything has helped me in the past, if any treatments or medications have helped at all. Nothing. We went over all the meds I've tried over the past 9 years, then she asked the dreaded 'how long's it been since you've seen a psychiatrist?' question. It's over two and a half years since I last saw any psych - a couple of encounters with the Horrible Psychiatrist at the public hospital. It's over three years since I regularly saw a psych - my ED psych, for a few months following inpatient.

She thinks I should be seeing a psychiatrist. Not even on a regular basis, but at least once every couple of years to 'reassess'. I can't do it though. The thought absolutely terrifies meI don't trust psychiatrists (partly because every psych I've encountered since I developed anorexia has tried to make me fat). I went years without seeing anyone, not even a GP, and it's taken me so long to build up the trust with my dietician, GP, the private hospital system, now the mental health nurse... I can't take the next step just yet.

She's going to talk to a psychiatrist she works with about my history, medication etc. and see if they have any suggestions for different meds or something to try. This is some relief, at least. I know antidepressants don't solve everything, but it's a comforting thought to think there might be some medication out there that will make things a little less unbearable, however unlikely it seems. I'm just thankful she's doing this for me, without me actually having to see a psych, because I know it's not how it's normally done. It's the same thing my GP did when she prescribed the most recent tried-and-failed meds (Zyban and Paroxetine). I just hope this leads to something.

When she was asking me the general 'what've you been up to this week?' and following questions, all of which resulted in answers of 'nothing', she asked if I've ever had issues with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It caught me off-guard, but she might be on to something. I feel so tired and weak all the time. I've blamed it on depression, anorexia or a combination of the two, but I've been 'like this' for a while and the MH nurse is wondering if there's more to it than that. I'm going to discuss it with my GP when I see her in a couple of weeks. I guess it's a possibility, but honestly, I'm pretty sure I am just that lazy.

I can't remember how it came up, but my agoraphobia was mentioned for the first time. I don't know how it hasn't come up before. I realized it's been about five years now since I was first diagnosed with agoraphobia. As I write this, it's been nearly two months since I've gone out (with the exception of appointments and hospital). Even going for drives in the car is getting harder. My (failed) New Year's Resolution was to go out in public once a month, but now, halfway through the year, I've only gone out four times (Shopping in January, Bushwalking in February, Nipple piercing in March, Cheese factory in May).

Each day is getting harder as my mood continues to drop. My mind races on all the things I could, should be doing, and leaves me too overwhelmed to function at all. 

I've started skipping meals more again. I wrap myself in a blanket on the couch, too cold and tired to move, as my family sit and have dinner, mum asking for the tenth time if I'm sure I can't join in some crumbed chicken and mashed potato (I've never liked crumbed meats, anyway). I just haven't the energy or motivation to prepare a proper meal, especially at the end of the day. I've since obtained a can of chicken noodle soup, which will provide four easy 48-calorie dinners. I honestly don't care about the nutrition, or lack thereof, right now. It's 'easy' or nothing. Ugh, I can't believe I just wrote those last two sentences.

Sunday was the worst. The day consisted of flashbacks, hysterics, tears, self-harm, and mum threatening to call an 'ambulance' for the first time in months because I couldn't calm down, which only makes me freak out more. You see, apart from my standing issues with the public hospital and the Horrible Psychiatrist, they don't even send paramedics on psychiatric calls anymore - they send police with a psychiatrist tagging along, so you can be assessed (for sectioning under the Mental Health Act) before being taken to the hospital. Which is fair enough, it makes sense, but no thanks. So that makes me panic ten times more, which really doesn't help the situation at all, and ugh, it was just a bad, bad day.

So I've been trying to take it easy, staying dosed up on lorazepam and trying to zone out to cartoons. I've spent the last three days in my pajamas watching Pokemon. It's the first thing I've been able to watch for weeks.

I've made another appointment to see the MH nurse in two weeks. This week, I have The Lung Doctor Man on Monday for my post-hospital check-up, the dietician Tuesday and an appointment with a nurse and my GP for self-harm dressings. The week after is my dietician Tuesday, the MH nurse Wednesday and my GP Thursday. Gee, isn't my life exciting?

Billy and Misty have been my shadows lately, more so than usual. They always know when I'm not feeling right. In appreciation, I thought I'd share some recent photos of my two furbabies, since it's been a while. 

My babies

Misty being cheeky in my wardrobe

And while unpacking online shopping

She gets more use out of the porch swing than anyone

Billy, looking smart after his haircut a few weeks ago. He already needs another one soon.

Cats aren't the only ones who like boxes



  1. i'd probably be one of the psychiatrists that would probably make you fat if i was one. then i'd be a paradox of a psych. make all the patients fat but try to get skinny herself. man, i shouldn't be a psych. too messy.
    i'm glad that she's going to look into something. i'm glad for that. genuinely am.
    when i'm depressed, if i exercise, i end up feeling so ill and tired and sick. that's interesting enough in my opinion. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that includes depression as a symptom interestingly enough. i think she may be onto something as well.
    "My mind races on all the things I could, should be doing, and leaves me too overwhelmed to function at all." this. i'm very sorry you feel that way, angel.
    easy or nothing. that's my personality. come on, darling. you're insulting me here (no, i'm just joking). i don't eat homecooked meals. i find them nothing compared to my relentless canned soups and sugary coffee.
    i'm sorry for what happened on Sunday. that just sounds horrifying. genuinely does.
    darling, you, as always, are in my thoughts.
    Bill and Misty are adorable. i hate cats. burnt hem all but the dog...i've wanted a dog for ages, but Mum can barely stand cats.

    you're always in my thoughts, darling. and i genuinely only hope that things get better for you.

    -Sam Lupin

  2. If it weren't for the boyfriend (the one I keep bitching about) I would leave my apartment once a week to go grocery shopping and that's it. I would stay inside this perfect haven of nothingness with my cats, my books, my tv and my computer. I have no need for anything or anyone else. Is there any need for anything else?

  3. You're in my thoughts Bella. I'm sending you so much love and hugs from across the ocean. Hang on in there, I hope things start to improve for you, it can last this bad forever. XXXX

  4. "easy or nothing" I feel ya there. I hope new meds will help. Sometimes I find that just the change gives me a bit of a kickstart. Sending you loads of love, deary. xo


  5. First, Billy and Misty are adorable. I so cannot imagine a life without animals. I even just like watching my cats sleep. Your babies are definitely cute.

    The psychiatrist thing.. I've had issues with psychiatrists in the past that have made going back hard.
    I had one that went on maternity leave and her replacement wanted me to show her my self harm wounds and definitely got in my personal space trying to be motherly (?) or something.

    I had one that I saw once and then saw one of his nurses or assistants every other time. I had told them I was bulimic. I know it was in my chart, but she started praising me for my weight loss and asking if I wanted to see the picture of when I started seeing them.

    I've had guilt trips and ultimatums. That is not at all helpful. I've had bad ones inpatient too. Most would spend 5 minutes with me and start changing my medication without listening to me.

    I think it's great that she's talking to someone for you. That definitely makes it easier. I've had I think 5 psychiatrists outside of hospitals, and I still always dread going. I really hope she's able to help. Depression is a terrible thing. Just keep fighting.

  6. Your pets are so cute!
    Sending you lots of love, Bella
    <3 Lee

  7. So sorry you are feeling like this hon..
    Maybe you should try seeing a shrink.. my encounters have never been good until I met the last one I see now. She isn't the best - neither does she have any XP with my kind of issues (she was actually shocked when I met her the day after a binge episode and told her how it went).. But we have this "connection" which make it work..
    Who knows, maybe the next one you meet is going to be someone you connect with, and who in return can listen and help you.

    Amazing how pets can feel when they are needed.. Glad you have them..

    Don't give up Bella..

  8. I just found your blog while searching for other people to talk to about eating disorders, diets, whatever you would like to call it! I just started blogging again & have had quite the past if you eve wanna talk to anyone that won't judge you or 'try to make you fat'! I loved reading your entire post, I just like hearing about others days, whether their amazing or completely awful. I'm gonna follow your blog to follow how you're doing, keep posting & stay in touch. You're not alone.

  9. I take the ability to go out in public for granted, Bella. I ran several errands today just to get out of the house! I can't imagine what its like to suffer from agoraphobia. How crippling it must be and the hopeless feelings that it gives you. Your insight has definitely made me grateful to just be able to get in my car and drive.

    Animals definitely sense when something is off! It's another sense that they have that humans don't. They don't have the gift of language but they can sure pick up on changing emotions! My dog is overly attached when I have been crying or had a tough case at work that I can't shake. They are telling you something, Bella. They are telling you that they are there when you need them and you're doing the right thing. They are little furballs of encouragement.

    Hang in there, hun. Just keep pushing. Hugs xx