The day after my last post, I met the dreaded new psychologist; the latest in what seems to be an endless stream of changing mental health professionals. I haven't seen anyone except my GP and dietician since January, so I guess I had a good run.
Thankfully, my GP was there for most of it, meaning I didn't have to say much at all. It's not easy to hear the introductory speech she does with new psychs though. Going over my life history and trauma and all this crappy stuff sends my brain into overload.
After she left for the last 15 minutes, I didn't talk much. My eyes were fixed on the same spot on the floor the entire time. It was mostly just getting more details on my history, but I hate having to talk about it.
She thinks we should focus on distress tolerance with bits of DBT to start with, but go slowly with easing in to therapy regarding the actual issues. She also wants to work on alternatives to self-harm and overdosing when I feel overwhelmed. Both she and my GP agreed to leave the ED in the dietician's hands though, and not to go into it unless I bring it up.
I saw her again on Friday. She talked about self-harm triggers, overwhelming emotions, and how I cope with them. She gave me some handouts on distress tolerance, crisis survival skills, and a few pages with distraction and self-soothing techniques
One of the crisis survival skills is called 'STOP'. It stands for Stop, Take a step back, Observe, Proceed mindfully. Basically, when you hit a crisis, you need to stop and not just react straight away, take a step back from the situation, notice what you're thinking and feeling, what's going on around you, how you feel inside, and think about what actions will make the situation better or worse.
So far, the appointments have been pretty uneventful, which is to be expected when there's not really 'talking therapy' and instead learning new coping strategies. I'm still doubtful that she'll be able to help me, but I guess we'll see how it goes.
The initial referral is for 10 appointments over the course of a year. She wants me to go in every second week, so that's going to disappear quickly. She asked my thoughts about changing the referral to 10 sessions over eight weeks, since I have suicidal thoughts, but it's way too often to leave the house and deal with a new team member. For the moment, it's sticking to the initial referral, although the more intensive referral can be activated at any point.
One thing I'm dreading is that, after the first few appointments, the psychologist will start walking with me instead of my GP, which is completely understandable, but it's still freaking me out. The psych will join my GP on the walk home next time, but after that, no more Jo.
On a final note, I'm sorry I keep disappearing. I'm trying to keep up to date on reading, and trying to comment as much as I can, but posting has just felt like too much. Every day, I tell myself I'll get a blog post done, but every day I put it off until tomorrow.
This past month or so, the depression has been overwhelming. I feel so low, most days I just lay comatose and watch the same old series over and over again, just trying to get through each day as quickly as possible. My life is going no where, and I keep wondering why I'm even here. I feel guilty for spending all day in bed medicating instead of sewing or doing other productive things, but right now, I just can't do it.