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Feeling suicidal, on my own, and a very, very long way from home

(292 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 00:30:40

I have bipolar II, which was diagnosed after having my second daughter in 2010. I had a tough time finding the right medication, but finally stabilised last November.

Over the last 2-3 weeks I've been back to struggling. I've been waking up on a morning like someone's sitting on my chest, oh-so tired, and just struggling through every hour. Now I'm slipping down in to feeling suicidal. Everywhere I look, I see ways of hurting myself. I'm starting to obsess about one particular way and just can't get it out of my head.

My problem is that I'm in the USA and on my own (for 12 more days). I've got nobody to talk to, nothing to distract me, and no way of getting help. I'm trying to stay rationale. I'm making myself leave the hotel and go do the work I need to do, but it's hard to stay in control of these thoughts. I've had moments of feeling very detached, like I'm floating, which I know is a pretty bad sign. I already feel like I don't exist.

I haven't got a clue what to do. I know that I'm not at risk of doing anything right now so there's no way I'm going to say anything. I'm only able to talk to my husband for 10 minutes when I ring to say goodnight to the kids. It's busy and my parents are in ear shot. So I just need to get this out somewhere as it's building up. I feel very isolated, alone, and helpless. sad

bolshieoldcow Fri 07-Jun-13 00:34:55

I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. And I don't know what else to say, but I didn't want to read and run. Here's a hand to hold until someone wise comes along (it won't be long, it never is here!)

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 00:38:16

Thanks. I'm at a loss. I have my own ways of dealing with this at home, but haven't got a clue what to do without anyone to talk to.

Namechanger012345 Fri 07-Jun-13 00:40:31

What are you doing there, are you with other people most of the time? Can you try to minimise your time spent alone? Do you think it would help to tell your DH how you're feeling, even if you put it in an email if you don't want to be overheard?

Sorry you're feeling like this. I hope you will get back to feeling stable. I don't really know much about bipolar but hopefully you can get your medication adjusted and it will help.

bolshieoldcow Fri 07-Jun-13 00:43:08

12 days must seem like a long time before you're back with your family again. You're in the States for work? Do you have the evenings free? Can you plan activities for the evenings - cinema, concerts etc? Or do you follow a religion? Would there be a Church or Synagogue or Mosque or something nearby you can go to? Even if you're not religious, you can often find a good listener there (apologies if that's REALLY not your bag).

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 00:43:51

Poor you sad I think you need to seek help. 12 days is a long time. If you are sick then you should just go home. You would not carry on if you went down with the flu and this is potentially far more serious, if not quite as obvious.

If you are working then presumably you have insurance cover in the US?

Please go see a doctor in the morning and then make plans to get yourself home to your family. No job is worth putting yourself through what you are going through alone.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 00:44:30

I'm here for work, doing research as I'm a Uni lecturer. I'm sat in a library on my own all day, and then go back to my hotel room on my own. So no human contact, beyond buying some food, at all. I could disappear and nobody would know.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 00:49:01

I have insurance, but I'm in the middle of no where. The nearest pharmacy is 12 miles away and I don't have a car. God knows where the nearest qualified help might be. I'm also very worried about seeking help as the US is very hostile to such situations. When you apply under the visa waiver scheme, you have to confirm that you are not experiencing a mental disease that will make you a danger to yourself. I cannot afford to be refused access to the country. (It's more complicated than that, but I can't explain it well.)

I also can't get home as this trip is covered by a research grant. The additional cost to get home would have to be covered by myself.

I feel stuck. I can't think straight.

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 00:50:26

You are not alone dontrun, although it seems that way. You have connections all accross the world to people that love you. They are still there, although you just cant see them or feel them right now as you are not well.

Do you feel safe right now? Your bad thoughts are part of your illness and you need to seek out help tomorrow to keep yourself safe.

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 00:56:54

Can you call your line manger or supervisor at the university tomorrow? My DP is also an academic who travels a lot to all sorts of odd places. Do they know about your condition? As your employer, they have an obligation to support you, no matter where you are in the world.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 00:58:39

I'm not in danger of doing anything right now. I wouldn't know how to get help if I wanted to, though. As I say, I can't risk endangering my visa status. That would be disastrous. I have this whole great crisis plan for when I'm at home. Not much use here.

bolshieoldcow Fri 07-Jun-13 01:02:12

May I ask what you do at home when these thoughts start to come along?

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 01:04:41

I think it highly unlikely that immigration would connect your illness with your visa status. It is more important that you get help and reconnect yourself with people who know you.

Can you call your DH for advice or in the morning can you call someone who is aware and involved in your crisis plan at home? they ight be able to help you work through your options, as they know you and can do the straight thinking for you. I have experience of mental illness in my family. Wish I could hold your hand smile

SugarandSpice126 Fri 07-Jun-13 01:07:46

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this.. Practical ideas - would you be able to Skype? Ask husband to go somewhere you can talk? Do you have Internet connection in hotel? I'm guessing you have some since you're on here now. If you can find any way of talking to someone that would be safest I think...being alone is worst for these feelings.

I know you feel stuck, but this is your work, your research, and you are doing well despite everything. Forcing yourself to get out of hotel to do work must be incredibly hard, so don't sell yourself short with that.

Even if you can't talk to anyone back home, we're all here online...even though we don't know you, we're here and we care. So keep posting and sharing, and slowly those 12 days will pass and you will be home.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 01:09:49

By this point I would have a) some PRN medication from the GP, and b) probably be on my way to seeing the Acute Response Team. I've got all this written out. Feeling detached is a bad, bad sign; the point at which I should start thinking about hospital. But it's not there all the time, just fleeting feelings right now.

This has come down so quickly. I think it's because my sleep has been screwed up by the travel/time difference.

bolshieoldcow Fri 07-Jun-13 01:11:05

Gotta go to bed, can't do these late nights! Hang on in there OP.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 01:11:55

Thank you sugarandspice. I need to keep getting out so I at least have a function and am around people, even if not speaking to them. I just have to get through each hour.

My psychologist did say I could email her if I needed anything, but I'm not sure what to say and it's not as if she can do anything.

SugarandSpice126 Fri 07-Jun-13 01:12:58

As bolshie was asking about...try and do some things you might do by yourself at home - not sure what works for you, but breathing exercises, writing down what you feel, walking outside, any form of exercise..

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 01:14:09

Poor sleep can be awful. The detached feeling can also be partly due to jet lag. Do you travel with sleep medication? Can you take anything to get your sleep on track?

If there is a local hospital near you, you could go there and seek medical help. I have taken my DS into a US hopsital when I didnt know what to do and they were great. They have no interest in your visa BTW, but they will want to see your insurance papers!

bolshieoldcow Fri 07-Jun-13 01:16:54

I think if your psychologist said you could email her, then you should. She might be able to do something, or have a suggestion. I'm sure there will have been other times when someone has been abroad and needed help. Can you access the medication you would normally take? Would your GP be able to contact the pharmacy? Even if its 12 miles away, a taxi would be worth it, to get you back on track.

piprabbit Fri 07-Jun-13 01:18:29

Email your psychologist, she may be able to put you in touch with someone in the USA, arrange a prescription via a local doctor, or at least give you more complete advice than you can get here as she knows your details.

If you think that calling the Samaritans would be helpful, this is the US number 1 (800) 273-TALK which might be easier than trying to call the UK Samaritans internationally.

SugarandSpice126 Fri 07-Jun-13 01:18:32

Definitely email psychologist - it's worth trying, even if you think she can't do anything. Just typing out how you're feelingand keeping talking can be enough to get you by. You seem to have a good sense about what you need (getting out, being around people), and that will see you through. Have you got any plans of things to do with family when you're back? Focussing on these might help.

And definitely don't underestimate what sleep can do to your emotional state...a long sleep will help your work productivity overall.

dontrunwithscissors Fri 07-Jun-13 01:19:48

I don't know; my head is so muddled. But I can send a message to my psychologist. The worst she can do is ignore it, I suppose. I want to talk to my DH, but I know it will make him so incredibly worried.

SugarandSpice126 Fri 07-Jun-13 01:22:19

Your Dh would far rather worry himself than have you feeling this alone, I'm sure... I know if I was in his situation I'd rather know than you suffer by yourself..let yourself lean on him.

elastamum Fri 07-Jun-13 01:24:01

Talk to him. He loves you and cares about you. He would want to know if you are not feeling well

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