Monday, 28 November 2011

RANT RANT RANT RANT RANT

OK, I am feeling in a very ranty mood (had you guessed?) and am very irritable and anxious about leaving the apartment. Which I had to. To get cigarettes. (Saw 15 people and it was very scary).

*Trigger warnings about Suicide*
As I put on Facebook, and I quote:
"I don't care who Gary Speed is, it's a tragedy for his FAMILY not for FOOTBALL. Think of that you two faced morons, when yesterday if it was one of your family members/friends you would have been whinging about how selfish they are for committing suicide."
Because I really do feel this. I was probably on Twitter too long reading the most random retweets and comments about how sad it was and just felt, "what about the forgotten others, who don't earn millions, who don't have high pressured jobs, who are scraping by on benefits.  What about those who commit suicide? There isn't so much outcry when that gets reported.  And how many times have I heard from the stupid English who frequent the bars for Apres Ski in this mountain town who spout on about someone they've heard who has committed suicide (friend/family member/ friend of family member) as being selfish and cowardly for taking their own life.
And the news reports about Gary Speed - quotes from friends and other players at how this is a tragedy for football.  Er...What? Tragedy for the family methinks.  Tragedy that someone with a bit of depression is expected to pull themselves together. Tragedy that there is still so much stigma about mental health and that it takes a bloody celebrity to get people taking this seriously.  Now I am not knocking that Gary Speed's suicide is anything other than very, very sad.  But this applies to ANYONE who commits suicide.  A friend of Gary (I think some kind of football manager) said that he had seen him the day before and he seemed his "usual self".
Oh Dear.
Non-mentalists just don't get it, do they.
WE HIDE IT WELL.
WE DON'T ANNOUNCE THAT TOMORROW MORNING WE ARE GOING TO KILL OURSELVES. 
We hide it and we do it. We may have planned it.  It might have been a spur of the moment thing. And if we don't succeed then everyone starts bandering the phrase "Cry for Help". OMG, I nearly punched my Psychiatrist when he mentioned that to me.  A cry for help implies that we are trying to get attention for what we have done.  It's more like a last minute change of mind when going through the attempt.  Or that someone has picked up on what is going on and sent the ambulance round before we could finish it off. For me, it was the look my cat gave me and I just thought, "who's going to feed him?". Does that sound pathetic - yes it does, but that was the wakeup call to my doctor who shipped me off to hospital.  And I was embarrassed afterwards.  I was mortified.  Mainly because I hadn't suceeded in making the unbearable pain go away.  Thats why I like to sleep so much - when I am asleep, I don't have to experience the crippling pain and emotions.  Sometimes the thought of going to sleep for a very long time seems more appealing than just 8 hours. But unfortunately, the same shit greets you when you open your eyes.
Imagine having some disease that causes you unbearable pain and discomfort, that people around you don't want to try and understand, or if they do and you find a confidante, quickly becomes bored of you "whinging on" because that's just life isn't it.
I watched my dad die of cancer over a six month period.  He couldn't move, he couldn't speak so he couldn't communicate.  He was in that hospital bed having his arse wiped and his trach tube painfully suctioned all day and all night.  When they finally put him on a syringe driver, you know it is the end and I swear, if I could have broken into that box and pushed the lot of morphine in, I would of.  He was a shell, being kept alive.  And for who? For us, who didn't want to accept he is dying. How courageous he was and fought to the end.
Someone who suffers mentally, because it is an unseen illness, and sees fit to end their pain may well do so. You just don't see the cancerous thoughts and emotions that fill their body. What a cowardly and selfish thing to do because what about the family and their loved ones?
For me personally, thoughts of family and friends didn't come into it.  Just my cat.  Because I have suffered on my own. And those who tried to understand got bored and never talked about my feelings.  So I started to keep them to myself. And my focus was to stop my pain, much as going to my doctor and asking for some painkillers for a broken bone. And when the meds that are meant to help with this pain stop working and the diagnosis that I have Treatment Resistant Depression kind of puts me in a mood where a lot of hope is lost, it is difficult for me to see where this cycle will end and whether the pain will become umbearable again. (March 2011 and again Sept 11). Luckily I (now) have a proper crisis plan and when I feel myself sliding I'm straight back to my GP on a daily basis and they fast track me a psych appointment. But that's not to say I feel safe around myself in the lows.
And when the day comes when I have to put my cat down because he is in pain, then I will do so with love and understanding that I am doing it for him and not keeping him alive unnecessarily just to satisfy my emotional needs.
Please, if you know of someone with mental  illness, even if you are bored shitless of listening to them whinge (because you'd much rather listen to happy stuff), please don't abandon them.  Go with them to the doctor to get them help.  Read books about how you can help.  Go to mental health charities and ask how you can help. Try to understand their pain, even if you think it is trivial, it is not to them. Everything is relative.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Boredom

The problem with being bored is that really I have no excuse for it.  I have books to read, I have knitting, I have a box ful of craft stuff, paper, coloured pencils, a haven of beautiful mountains and forests outside my front door.
But no real friends here to just go and have a laugh with. Just me and my cat.
The highlight of my day is when my ex contacts me, because then I have someone to talk to and a reason to leave the apartment.
I don't feel especially sad at the moment, just a bit lonely. Very lonely. I tried calling my best friend in the UK, but she is loved up with a new boyfriend at the moment so doesn't have much time for me.  I understand that, I guess I would be the same. I tried SMSing my "friends" here to go out but they area all too busy or don't answer.  So it's not as if I haven't tried to make contact with people.
My sister emailed me to say she was pleased I am going back to the UK, but totally opposed to the ECT proposition.
Meh.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I'm not a celebrity - but get me out of here anyway

All still OK with the medication although it probably doesn't help that I don't get up until after 1pm (watching I'm a celebrity so it's my own fault that my sleep is all over the place). I've been trying to get into a routine again before Ski School starts and am quite pleased that last week I managed on 2 days to do Wii Zumba and Yoga for Abs afterwards.  Not sure my cat was as impressed though.
I am just waiting for the snow now. Last year we had snow in the middle of November.  The local Swiss farmers predict it won't arrive until 28th December.  Start placing your bets now people. It's so frustrating as if the snow comes late, then I have no work and I hate that unpredictability.  I am still with the social at the moment but I want to be earning my own money for a change and save up to return to the UK.
So all in all, I'm not too bad. Daydreaming a lot.  Sleeping a lot. But generally feeling OK.  I just have to find the appointment card for my GP tomorrow and all will be fine.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Psychiatrist Appointment Review

So I saw my lovely Psych last Monday and to be honest I thought I couldn't be bothered to talk and have been feeling grrreeeeeaaaatttttt! But when I got there I suddenly found myself becoming very articulate, clear thinking and demanding answers to questions in a much more forthright manner than usual (drugs or....?)
The Cipralex started working pretty quickly after he prescribed it to me at the end of September (10mg/day) and he seemed pleased with that, as am I and I explained about my clear thinking, positive mood, feeling HAPPY when I walked my friend's dog in the forest the other day (totally wierd and unexpected experience as I don't think I've had a flash of that since 2008) and that in general I am now fine and not mad. So he's upped it to 20mg/day in the morning to top up the Venlafaxine (now down to 150mg) with the Seroquel as a top up when needed (still every night to get me to sleep although I've had one night since getting back from the UK I had a normal night's sleep without it - yeay!) and the stash of other old medications at the back of my drugs drawer that he doesn't know I still have - never know when they might come in handy heh heh.
So, then onto the ECT debate.  Some of you have emailed me with some very sage advice which I am very grateful for.  I agree that in CH the psychiatric profession seem quite....well....keen to pursue this option in cases such as mine but I am still researching, researching, researching.  I explained to Dr I that at the moment there is no way I need it, but who knows what I will agree to when in the depths of despair and depression, so I would rather be informed as much as possible before that situation would arise and if necessary draw up a treatment agreement/non agreement stating what I would or would not consent to.  I asked when they give the treatment i.e. when I am feeling great and do it anyway, or when I am feeling shit.  He said they were able to guage how effective it was being if I started when I feel like shit.  He went through how many treatments there would be and that usually when I started it would be as an inpatient for two weeks to monitor me and then be treated as an outpatient until the "required" number of treatments had occured and then.....get this.....once a month "maintenance treatment"! When did that enter the plan? So, after a bit more discussion about how my family felt and the conflicting views of friends, plus my indecisiveness still as I am still confused by it all, I agreed to visit the Private Psych clinic where I was incarcerated 4 years ago around this time of year, for an appointment to discuss further.
However, whatever I decide, it is unlikely any treatment of such will be carried out in Switzerland for me.  I am planning on going back to the UK next April/May and start in Ski School in a couple of weeks and there is NO WAY I would be able to be admitted as an inpatient or attend outpatient treatments a couple of times a week over the winter AT ALL, unless I go a bit mad in the meantime (which is a possibility, who knows where my moods take me) in which case, as I mentioned earlier, I want to have a Crisis Treatment Plan in place that everyone understands what I have or haven't agreed to.  I need to look up the Swiss law anyway on being "sectioned" as I would imagine they are probably a bit more strict over here given their love of law and order.
Watch this space people.....I will let you know how that appointment goes and they had better be prepared because I will be demanding answers.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

My week so far

Where did Friday go? Well, I went to sleep 11.30pm Thursday night right through to 11.30 pm Friday night, two hours of eating and reading then asleep again until 11.30 a.m. Saturday morning.  Needless to say I was a bit confused yesterday as to what day it was.  Anyway, last night, for the first time in ages, I had a NORMAL night's sleep (still with 100mg Seroquel) but went to sleep around 11 p.m. and woke up (WIDE AWAKE NOT GROGGY) at 8.30 a.m. I never knew there were so many hours in the day and must admit am a little bored right now, but feel AWAKE!  Am going to try and keep this routine going - my winter job starts in a month so I have to get some kind of regular schedule so that I am prepared.
The autumn here is so beautiful.  I took my friends dog for a walk on Wednesday and...get this....I was SMILING and HAPPY because everything is so beautiful!  I haven't felt like that in AGES AGES AGES!
So, Psychiatrist appointment tomorrow.  Probably my last one before the winter season starts as I won't have time to get to an appointment once I start work (I am bound by train times as there are no roads to this village, so it means I have to set off 2 hours before an appoinmtment and it takes about 2 hours to get back).