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Psychologists appointment has stirred me up.

(20 Posts)
AllFuzzedUp Tue 11-Oct-16 22:27:26

I have a diagnosis of PTSD, it was severe enough that I was actively suicidal earlier this year. I posted about it at the time under a different name.

Like many on here I've been batted around like a mental health tennis ball, falling through gaps and not fitting neatly into one service or another.
Where there was named support the actual support wasn't forthcoming.

For over three months I haven't seen any professionals because again, I was falling through the gaps I'm no longer actively suicidal and I've been making a steady improvement, all of this has been down to sheer determination, finding my own resources and throwing myself into every meditation, self help, yoga, walking. If it's recommended then I've tried it. Slowly I've been building myself back up again.

My local mental health services decided (rightly) that I need more intervention than the simple 6 sessions of counselling. I was referred to the specialist psychology team.

Finally, after 6 months of waiting I had my first appointment today. I can't continue with them because I start work next month. I went to the appointment anyway and even though today was a cursory conversation it has stirred up a lot of stuff and my mind is whirring. I can't sleep, I've taken my tablets but the panic is rising and of course I won't be able to do anything with these feelings in therapy because I can't go to the therapy.

I'm not sure what I want from this post except that it helps to write it down and if anyone is about please can I have a hand hold and a reminder that it's ok and that the bad thing probably isn't going to happen again?

ACatCalledFang Tue 11-Oct-16 22:50:51

I'll hold your hand for a bit, I'm up for half an hour or so. That sounds really tough. Is there no way you can take time to attend the appointments, is it definitely not an option? Because it sounds as though you would like to. I'm assuming, because you haven't mentioned it, that going private wouldn't be an option?

I have some experience of PTSD myself, although I'm lucky that mine isn't anywhere near as severe as yours sounds. When I'm having a bad time with intrusive thoughts, I find focusing on my breathing is helpful. Deep and slow, in and out, counting as I breathe in and again as I breathe out. Also, talking myself through a mindfulness exercise - what can I hear? What can I see? Isn't it interesting that my mind keeps wandering?

Is there anything you could try to distract yourself? Or would scribbling down some of it, like a journal entry, offload any of it to allow you to sleep?

There is no reason to think the bad thing will happen again. You're safe, you're here, you're in the present. flowers, this will pass.

SomethingOnce Tue 11-Oct-16 23:53:55

Hey OP, how's it going? I've got to jump in the shower but I'll pop back in a half hour to see if you're around x

AllFuzzedUp Wed 12-Oct-16 00:33:23

Yes I'm still here.

SomethingOnce Wed 12-Oct-16 00:38:12

It's been a couple of hours since you first posted - how are you feeling now?

Is anyone up and about with you where you are?

SomethingOnce Wed 12-Oct-16 00:39:00

Back in five, gotta do teeth grin

AllFuzzedUp Wed 12-Oct-16 00:41:21

I decided that this would be a good time to sort out the frozen up blockage in my freezer smile

It's ok, I'm not suicidal tonight, just churned up. That's not to say I didn't think about it briefly but I've moved on from that, I don't want to hurt myself, it seems like a bad idea and a step backwards.

Cat I would love to see the therapist but there's no way. When I became ill I lost my job, I've taken as long as I can afford to out of work and now I have to go back. I can't afford to go private, the new job doesn't pay much and I'd have to take a morning or afternoon off every week, my new employer isn't going to accept that and that's fair enough.

I'm going to try for bed and sleep, practice some breathing and put on a meditation app.

Thank you, both of you flowers

AllFuzzedUp Wed 12-Oct-16 00:43:34

Something my partner is asleep, he's got a 5am start so I wanted him to sleep. I don't want both of us to be ragged tomorrow.

And DD is fast asleep too.

queenofthepirates Wed 12-Oct-16 01:01:41

Just to add, thinking of you. Good mental health is a long road. Offering a hand hold in the wee small hours xx

Marmighty Wed 12-Oct-16 01:04:38

It might be worth finding put whether the therapist takes on private patients by phone or Skype, I've heard of more doing that these days. I know you said private wasn't an option but it's worth finding out whether the costs are prohibitive. The therapist may also be able to recommend lower cost options. It sounds like talking to someone would be very beneficial for you flowers

SomethingOnce Wed 12-Oct-16 01:09:22

Sorry, stupid flossing takes ages. And I write posts slooowly.

Great that you've used the time profitably. Free-flowing freezer - who doesn't feel better for that?! I once went on an all-night cleaning mission, ended up smoking a fag in the bath at dawn feeling pretty darn pleased with myself. I was quite bonkers at that point.

I know that horrible feeling when stuff is stirred up with nowhere to go, very destabilising. Far from ideal but it does settle after a few hours, you're in the home stretch now.

Time to join the sleepyheads for both of us zzzzzzz. The morning will be brighter.

Sleep well x

AnxiousCarer Wed 12-Oct-16 10:23:17

I know its really hard when you are just starting a new job. DH has been there the last few years, ended up with his dream job on temporary basis so stopped seeing CPN regularly as thought it would look bad, ended up not coping without the support, and getting ill again, work sent him to occupational health who reccomended he must be allowed time for CPN appointments, by this time though things had gone too far he wasn't coping with job at all so left it :-(

What I'm trying to say is have you discussed this with your new job, is there any way you can work arround it? Could you work more hours some days to make up for time for appointments. Can you get early or late appointments which would interfere less with your work hours. If you don't ask you won't know. Would they give you time off if it was for something physical like dialysis? This is just as important, and long term the treatment is likely to make you more productive and better able to cope with work.

AllFuzzedUp Wed 12-Oct-16 10:55:41

Thank you carer I know you're absolutely right and thank you everyone too.

I'm changing career sadly I've had to so to begin with there is a training period and I can't take any time out of that and that will be months. I won't be paid much.

The psychologist I saw yesterday doesn't do Skype or private appointments. She could think of one who could provide specialist support but it will be around £70 an hour, she also said I would need 24 sessions. I really don't have anything like that sort of money.

AnxiousCarer Wed 12-Oct-16 11:35:01

Is there anyway the psychologist can put you appointments on hold and resume them at a better time? Also will you be entitled to annual leave during the training period and is there any way you could coincide this with appointments?

AllFuzzedUp Wed 12-Oct-16 13:04:36

I am seeing the psychologist again in two weeks to see whether she has come up with any alternatives, I will ask her to put the appointments on hold.

I can't take any annual leave while I'm training and even when I can I'm not sure yet whether have/part days are allowed. I suppose they must be but as I don't work there yet I haven't checked.

AnxiousCarer Wed 12-Oct-16 20:00:00

Its good the psychologist is looking at ways to make this work for you. I hope you can get something sorted.

erinaceus Sat 15-Oct-16 15:54:38

Have you asked your new employer whether you can have the time off for appointments? It is not clear to me from your post, whether you have asked or not. You do not have to say anything specific to your employer, other than that you have had weekly sessions recommended by a professional and that you will do X to work around the disruption to your job. If you have already asked and they have said no, there might be other options like having therapy once a fortnight instead of weekly which might disrupt your work less or as another poster suggested delaying the start date of your therapy by a period to allow you to settle into your new position. Employers are aware of human frailty in all its guises and if they want you for the position you may be surprised at what can be arranged.

OTOH I am not sure that starting a new job and starting therapy simultaneously would ever be manageable for me, because both of them involve a certain amount of emotional energy. It took me a long time to learn that I was unwise to schedule a difficult work meeting immediately following my therapy session, after a few work meetings during which I was uncharacteristically ranty.

SofiaAmes Sat 15-Oct-16 16:09:50

I am so sorry you are having so much trouble getting mental health support. I live in the USA and I have to say that the support for mental health here is light years ahead of what's available in the UK. Are there any charities that can help? Research shows that Skype therapy can be effective, so if you locate that in your budget, please do try it. In the meantime, here are some suggestions -
Take a look at a book called DBT Skills Workbook DBT was originally developed for Borderline Personality Disorder, but has been found to be very effective for Bipolar and PTSD. This workbook is designed to do without a therapist, but many DBT therapist use it in their practice.
Also, have you had your vitamin D levels checked. Low vitamin D can cause depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. If you can't have the levels checked because your gp won't (they are supposed to these days as there is a directive), just take vitamin d.

AllFuzzedUp Mon 17-Oct-16 14:46:16

erin I haven't asked for the time off, I haven't started there yet and I have been forced out changed career so I have 6 weeks of training and exams when I start. I won't be able to take time off during that 6 weeks.
The psychologist did talk about delaying therapy until a time I could attend.

The NHS is excellent in many ways Sofia but I agree with you that mental health support is much better in the US. My own experience has been that here it is appalling.
Thank you for your recommendations, I'll take a look at the workbook.
How much vitamin D should someone take? I already take a multivitamin containing vitamin D, do I need more?

SofiaAmes Tue 18-Oct-16 08:41:22

5000 iu per day is the recommended adult dosage. A multi-vitamin usually only has 400-600iu. See the Vitamin D Council website for more information.

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