Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
What happened to me?(8 Posts)
I feel like I need to speak to someone about my mental health but haven't plucked up the courage to go to the GP partly because I am not good at talking about things and I also don't really know how to frame a lot of what I probably need to say.
The last 7 years of my life have been generally stressful, I have two SN children, a DH who works 60+hours a week and no family support. I've also worked a fair bit in that time including running a business and doing voluntary work on a local committee.
2011 everything seemed to really spiral and was particularly hard. One of my DS went into severe meltdown was self harming and had to be removed from school, my late teens DD had a bad relationship break up and was stalked by her ex which resulted one night in a hostage situation and was utterly terrifying plus a number of other less acute problems were rumbling on in the background, dealing with my other SN son and a very ill FIL.
This all happened around xmas and early 2011, I felt like at the time I coped really well but around April of that year I started feeling very odd. I couldn't sleep and felt completely wired all the time, I could permanently feel adrenaline flowing through my body and was getting maybe three hours sleep a night.
I started having what I think are called intrusive thoughts, it sounds ridiculous but I became obsessed with the thought of my daughter being eaten alive by a bear (I can hardly stand writing that even now) I couldn't push the thought from my mind it played on a loop. I began having visual hallucinations, not actually seeing things more moving things in my peripheral
vision and whenever I closed my eyes I could see horrid faces, flesh dripping off them and all distorted which didn't help with sleeping.
This was all pretty awful in itself but at the same time I felt weirdly high and the following is the bit I baulk at talking to a GP about, I felt really sexual all the time, like a permanent turned on feeling in the pit of my stomach. I developed an obsession with an American singer and became convinced that the only way to move my life forward was to become part of this person's entourage in order to get to know him better and fufil my true calling in life. I spent a load of money on this person's online forum, bought shedloads of rock chick clothing and started planning ways in which to leave my family
behind for a new life in California. I almost used our savings to buy a plane ticket but managed to stop myself. Despite having concurrent bad thoughts all this rockstar stuff was very elating
and felt really good, like I had discovered the secret of life or something.
Looking back I can't believe I thought this was all perfectly reasonable, I didn't talk to anyone about it I knew people would disapprove but at the same time it felt like a totally rational thing for a thirty something Mum to be planning. At some point the plan changed tack slightly and developed into the idea that actually I was a male rock singer trapped in the body of a female. I then became fixated with the idea of having a sex change and being that person myself (despite not being able to sing or play any instruments).
This whole phase lasted maybe about 8 weeks, I realise it sounds like I was totally bonkers but I was still outwardly functioning reasonably okay. A few people close to me mentioned I was being odd but I don't think anyone grasped the extent. From this point onwards the adrenaline and the high feeling started to wear off and I sort of downward spiraled into a depression and feeling hopeless and having suicidal thoughts. I started drinking a lot and not sleeping still and being very tearful. I nearly left my DH several times in this period because I couldn't stand the sight of him. I just became very reclusive, avoided people and didn't deal with anything other that managing the very basics of daily life. I have spent literally months of my life under a duvet barely communicating.
My Dh and friends did realise I was very unwell in this period and asked me to see the GP but I just physically was able to do it. I didn't feel like I could speak to anyone about anything. I think it would have been helpful if my DH had spoken to someone on my behalf but unfortunately he is not that sort and tends to stick his head in the sand. He started working longer and spending most weekends out of the house. I feel quite resentful now but at the time I was glad he wasn't there.
I started to feel a bit better and more stable about May time this year and am much improved to the point I have started a part time job and I can objectively see just how ill I was.
I feel guilty that I have had a detrimental effect on my DC as all routine was lost, everyone had a rubbish diet and I barely did anything constructive with them for over a year which is not good with asd kids.
Apologies for this being so long, it's quite cathartic to write it down. I am in two minds as to whether to speak to my GP as I feel much more normal now but I am terrified of it happening again. I don't really know if I was psychotic or it was PTSD or just a manifestation of depression. It snuck up so quickly I don't know if I would recognise the signs in time again. My friends and family know I have been low but I feel like I can't telk them the full extent especially the delusional stuff.
If you have got this far, thank you and if anyone has experienced something similar or has some understanding if it might reoccur I would be grateful.
I have name changed for this obviously.
I can only empathise & advise as a person who's d/w has bi polar that you pluck up the courage to see your g.p.
Sounds like all the stress in your life got on top of you & your coping mechanism went in to meltdown hence all the bizarre thoughts etc etc.
I'm pleased your feeling a bit better now!
Thank you for the kind reply. Do I sound similar to your DW? I feel like I had some kind of nervous breakdown or ptsd but could it be bipolar? I've always been a bit up and down since teenage years and suffered with panic and anxiety in the past but never anything really extreme until this. I don't know if I could cope with it happening again. When normal I'm a fairly stable, reserved person.
No problem replying! DW's illness was/is classic bi polar with some manic highs involving spending lots of money & lows where she could barely function.
thankfully she is now fairly stable with allbeit very inmotivated.
Its sounds to me like your brain was trying to formulate an escape from the stress you were under. That said I'm no doctor!
Still worth discussing with your gp.
I haven't had any experience of what you've described, but I would say this is the perfect time to see the doctor, and to perhaps try to set up some things with your DH so he can recognise that you're struggling and will know what to do.
If you don't think you'd recognise it again it's important that he does.
It might be that you'll have to tell him explicitly what the signs might look like and what you'd find helpful, I know it's difficult to talk about but you don't deserve to go through anything like that alone again.
If it happens again.
Could your DH have felt as though he was betraying you in some way going to the drs 'behind your back'?
If you were giving off vibes that you didn't want to involve anyone else, he might have felt it could have made you feel worse? (I'm only guessing)
It does sound very extreme and frightening though, I have intrusive thoughts, but you were seeing your reality as something else. Please don't feel as though you sound ridiculous, you weren't well at the time. Telling someone about how you're seeing things will hopefully help them see it as a red flag and one step closer to you getting help.
If you feel uncomfortable telling to your gp you could print off your OP. I think it is worth going to the docs.
As for your husband I think he could see you needed help. You wouldn't seek help and he didn't know what to do so tried to look after himself during what must have been a trying time for him too by getting time to himself.
This would be in line with what we advise people on here when a partner won't seek help. So I agree with what has been said about planning for what he can do better to help you if this happens again.
((hugs)) I'm sorry you have been through so much. It sounds like you have been through some terribly stressful situations. Sustained stress for long periods of time can cause some of things you described. I would definetly see your GP. He/she can help sort through your symptoms and provide follow up care and assistance. I am happy you are feeling better...
Thanks for the replies. Printing this off might be a good idea with the GP. I am really hoping it was a one off thing.
I think you are probably right about my DH, he mostly likely went into self preservation mode which I can understand.
Join the discussion
Please login first.