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Feel like I am getting worse not better, I'm scared. :-(

(7 Posts)
Glabella Mon 14-Oct-13 15:03:31


I have been around for a while but not lately as I felt things were getting back on track for me, but now I seem to be stuck.

In May I had a breakdown, following my split from my abusive husband. I totally stopped functioning, didn't really eat or get out of bed for the best part of a month, couldn't look after my daughter and at my worst my partner was having to help me get washed and dressed because I would just give up halfway and sit crying on the floor. I had horrible flashbacks and panic attacks which started after talking about what happened with my husband with my counsellor (realising that he raped me, controlled me, realising how scared I had been even though I told myself I was fine). I spent 2 months feeling suicidal, making plans, thinking about killing myself for hours at a time. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever gone through and I am still recovering.

I have been doing much better- I am on antidepressants which have worked to get me out of such obsessional negative thoughts, the flashbacks have gone and I can smile without it being a huge effort. I can look after my daughter again, she has just turned 2.

But the last 3 weeks or so I feel like I am sliding back down. I am dwelling on things that happened, blaming myself, getting stuck in cycles of negative thoughts that I can't pull myself out of. I am horribly anxious, some days I can't bring myself to go out, and I am putting off things that need doing. I am due for another course of counselling but I cancelled my session last week because I just couldn't face dredging it all up again. It took so much out of me last time and I can't face feeling like that again. But the thought of getting worse again makes me literally sick with fear, last time I nearly died, no exaggeration. My partner has a new job that we desperately needed, and he can't be at home with me as much. My parents are lovely, but frankly utterly shit at support in things like this. I just feel totally stuck, and scared. On my worst days I think I should just kill myself now, so nobody has to go through me being ill again.

And I have decisions to make- I was in my final year of medical school when I got ill, and there is a deadline by which I need to complete my last placement, otherwise I might not be able to graduate at all and all those years of work will have been for nothing. I have managed to put it off until after Christmas, but right now that seems totally unachievable when most days I dread even popping to the shops. I feel like I am letting everyone down, like I should just be able to pull myself together. I feel like I am watching my whole life slide away from me and there is nothing I can do. DP is wonderful, but he is worried too and doesn't know what to say, so I am back here.

CharityFunDay Tue 15-Oct-13 05:38:11

1) Contact your GP and get your problems recorded: A medical certificate can be submitted to your educational provider to get you a deferment or re-enrolment depending on how ill you are

2) Contact your ed provider's student mental health team at the same time

3) Ask your GP to refer you to the local Mental Health team. You sound like you might be in need of a social worker.

This should be enough to get the ball rolling.

Report back here when you've done it.

Glabella Tue 15-Oct-13 10:23:23

Thanks Charity. I have already done 1 and 2- medical courses are complicated because you have to complete the course within a set time, and I have already had a year out for maternity. Also job application takes 6 months and only happens once a year, I have already missed it once. If I do not go back soon I might not be able to go back at all.
The counselling I am having is through the student mental health team, but I need to pluck up the courage to go.
And my Gp won't refer me I don't think- I asked last time and was told that people with depression weren't a priority, and I had enough support at home. Even though I was massively suicidal and begging to be admitted to hospital. I even went to A&E in May after dp found me halfway though taking an overdose, but I was just sent home and told to keep taking my antidepressants and wait to feel better. We eventually had to go and stay with my parents as I just couldn't get any help with dd at home and wasn't able to look after her, but being there was stressful and made things worse. So now I don't know where to turn, there just seems to be no help out there. Sorry to sound defeatist, I will try asking again.

HoopHopes Tue 15-Oct-13 11:50:23

Hi, having a young child nd doing a demanding student course sounds stressful. Have you spoken to your HV for advice and support? If your dd under one yrs old you can ask to be referred to peri natal mental health ( not if child older). I agree that the support the gp can provide will not at primary level be any more than what you already have through student services. Unless you ask for a psychiatric assessment and diagnosis and can get passed to secondary care then you would only get short term cbt type course which you have currently.

What help would make the difference?
What changes could help?

You can refer yourself to social care team but unless they thought that you or your child was in need unlikely to get any extra support.

I agree finishing your training sounds important. Does maternity leave count as surely some people may have 2-3 children in that time? Just a thought.

Maybe, just maybe the anxiety of going back to training is worse than it actually is and once you go back in jan things may be easier. I actually find it better for my MH to work, to have something other than myself to focus on and a routine each day. Tough as it is with a child. So could you work out childcare for jan, get support for those months so you can focus on your studies etc?? Sometimes having a plan helps. When you qualified and working you could do part- time work, which is well paid and could then perhaps relax a bit, have nice treats etc, to reward yourself for success. It does not matter how you get there ultimately.

NanaNina Tue 15-Oct-13 13:44:16

Hello Glabella I remember you from another thread when you were really poorly. So sorry to hear that things are sliding again. What meds and dose are you on, as ADs should help with anxiety as well as depression. I still have intermittent depression and anxiety and know that thing about suicidal thoughts, which is a symptom of this horrid mental illness, though mostly with me it is suicide ideation. I have diazepam to cope with anxiety - I'm written up for 2mg x 3 per day and they are effective but for me depression is always worse than anxiety.

It sounds to me as though the root cause of the illness was the abusive behaviour of your ex husband and whilst the meds treated the symptoms they don't as you know treat the cause. Sounds like the cause has come bubbling to the surface again, which is unsurprising really.

I really don't think that you should go back to the counsellor. I don't want to sound elitist about students, but you really don't need a student from the mental health team. I am no medic (as you know) but have you considered that what you are suffering from is PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome) in relation to the past abuse. I don't mean that you weren't/aren't suffering from severe depression too because it certainly sounds to me like you were. Not sure where you are in the UK but I'm sure you know that most NHS services are struggling at the moment with increased demands and having to face massive budget cuts. This may have been why you got such a poor response last time.

I have learned from MNs on here that conventional therapy is not a great deal of help with PTSD and psycho dynamic therapy can be particularly harmful, and this seem to have been the case with you, especially being delivered by a student. There is a very effective therapy EMDR therapy and you don't have to go back through all that happened. If you google EMDR UK and Ireland you should get a useful site up, which explains in detail what this therapy is all about.

I don't know what your financial situation is, but you would probably need to pay someone, although I know of MNs who have got this on the NHS. Anyway have a look at it and see what you think.

Happy for you to PM me if you have to remember Glabella that there is hope for a brighter future, and in terms of suicide, a wise friend reminded me that if we do commit suicide we pass on the pain we are suffering to our loved ones.

HoopHopes Tue 15-Oct-13 21:32:13

I think the OP is receiving counselling through the student ( ie for university students) mental health provision if that helps. That is a trained counsellor who works at the university. It s just the name given to the service.

NanaNina Wed 16-Oct-13 01:04:13

Oh right - but I still think it isn't right for OP as the last time she went it made her feel worse - I know about the "no gain without pain" thing but having to talk about past trauma is often not the most helpful thing. I do hope she tries the EMDR therapy as I have seen so many MNs on these threads speak so well of it.

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