I haven’t posted in a long time and my last post was extremely positive. Unfortunately I have truly crashed since then.
I have treatment resistant depression, BPD, AvPD and OCD. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll add any more diagnoses to my list.
I’ve now been in a psychiatric hospital for over two years. I still think that I am waiting to wake up from a nightmare. I find myself in my blue metal framed bed staring at the ceiling, thinking ‘this can’t be’. Maybe I need to admit that this is the truth. That this is real and is what I have to face.
I tried dozens of psychiatric medications over the space of 2 1/2 years since my breakdown and that nearly ended horrifically with me deciding that I have simply had enough and was going to take the cowards way out.
The day after, I spoke with my psychiatrist. I’ve never been so serious in all my life and she saw it. I said ‘we have to do or change something before it’s too late’… She understood 100% what I meant and said that she’d get back to me.
An hour later, she came to my room and called me to have a meeting with herself, the head psychiatrist and the head of the ward. The head of the ward asked me how I was feeling and asked me to explain what was going on with me. I knew that I had to be fully honest and open otherwise I won’t get the help I need.
He asked me about suicidal thoughts and I was totally honest and told them what I had very nearly done the day before. They were in shock and said that they are very concerned for me. They said they’d discuss it between themselves and get back to me regarding their decision of how we can move forward to make a, hopefully, positive change.
An hour later, my psychiatrist came to my room and told me that they’d decided that I start ECT. I said that I agree and am fully prepared to do whatever I have to do in order to get better.
Now, a month later, I have done four ECTs and I hate to say that things are still not going too great. Unfortunately, I only had a seizure on the first time I had the ECT, but the other three attempts weren’t successful due to me not having a seizure. You need enough electricity in order to have a seizure (that’s what makes you feel better) but they still haven’t found the right level of electricity for me.
On the positive side of things, I felt the difference after the first treatment and felt less depressed and more calm. I hope that they will up the voltage so that it’ll be enough to do what it’s got to do.
I had a couple of very bad experiences with the ECT so far. Once, I stopped breathing completely but because the muscle relaxant was still in full force, I couldn’t shout out for help or move my body to sign that I need help. It was a truly horrible moment that I hope I will never have again. Hopeless and very scary.
Then another time, the level of anaesthetic was too low again and I felt and heard everything. Them unstrapping my legs from the bed, talking the cotton wool out of my mouth, them discussing my acne (!) and so on. Now they’ve upped the anaesthetic so that hopefully that won’t happen again.
I don’t mean to write this as a total sob story but unfortunately this is how things are for me right now. Crying daily with the nurses, my doctor and therapist saying that I’m ‘in hell’, terrible panic attacks lasting for hours and so on and so forth.
I’ll be starting DBT in a few weeks time with my therapist that I have been with in the hospital during my entire hospitalisation. It just so happens that she’s been taking a course in DBT whilst we’ve been doing therapy together and now she’s finished the course, she is ready to test it out on me! The hospital have agreed that I can do a 1 year DBT program with her and even if I leave the hospital before then, then I can come to the hospital once a week to do the DBT with her.
Trying to end on a more positive note, my doctors say that the ECT will help me. That they just need to get the levels right. I am set to do 12 ECTs and then do one a week and one a month as maintenance. I am coming off of all medications and the ECT will take place of them. They said its highly likely that I’ll need to come once a month on an outpatient basis to do the ECT. So that should be the depression taken care of.
The other positive is the DBT. My psychologist is sure that it’ll help me. And that will hopefully take care of the BPD side of things.
I know that I’ve just got to hold on and not give up. Most of the time I am thinking that I’ve had enough of suffering and have no more patience to carry on. But I have to carry on, if not for my own sake, then for the sake of my family and fellow patients here who love and care for me deeply.
I sincerely wish the best for all of us and pray for a speedy recovery for all of those that are suffering with mental illnesses. You are not alone. It is worth the fight. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we just need to keep fighting on and keep hope inside of us.
All the best x
Ps. I wanted to say that I am terribly sorry about the shooting in the school in Connecticut yesterday. How awful. May all of their souls have peace in the highest level of heaven.
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