One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

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 This post contains discussion of chronic suicidal thinking. There are no actual suicides described or images.  Please read at your discretion.

 

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

I was sitting in the office of my Pain Management Specialist.  Also in the office was a medical student.  I know most people don’t like medical students sitting in on appointments, but I don’t mind.  They have to learn about the patient’s perspective somehow, and because in New Zealand their exposure to mental health, as part of their training, is so small, I think it’s vital that they get all the exposure they can get. Continue reading

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Ruby’s Tropical Depression

RubyHello, dearest readers.

I have to do something I never anticipated having to do, so forgive me if I am a bit clumsy about it.  As you may remember from my last Canvas post, I have been fighting the onset of a depressive episode for some time.  Unfortunately, it is a fight which I lost, and I have slipped into a very severe depressive state.  It’s much more acute a situation than I have had to deal with in a long time.

Another thing that you may or may not recall is that I cannot take any medication for this.  Just a few months ago, I wrote in another post: Continue reading

Preparations

RubyI have to go see my psychiatrist today.

Which means I have to do some work, prepare myself like I haven’t in a long time, not since I ended things with my last doctor almost two years ago.

Back then it was pulling myself together, checking the anger and rage I felt towards him for the ECT thing, ending the relationship cordially, making my exit like a lady. Continue reading

When You Reach The End Of The Road

Ruby

It finally happened.  Officially, I mean.  I’ve reached the end of the line.  After six-and-a-half years of extremely intensive psychiatric treatment, the first fiveish with an incredibly bright, creative, thinking-outside-of-the-box younger doc; the last year-plus with a man long experienced in the mood disorder game (not to mention numerous consults along the way), it has been made manifest.

Continue reading

Writing a Safety Plan

DeeDee newWhen I started creating a Wellness Journal awhile back, I found I didn’t have some of the “required” ingredients on hand, including a Safety Plan and a Wellness Plan. Fortunately, plans can be developed as needed, right?

I started with a little research and quickly learned that there are a number of different contracts and plans meant to improve accountability and interventions in mental health crisis situations. Continue reading

When Do I Make the Call?

DeeDee newEveryone tells me I hold out too long. I don’t ask for help often enough or soon enough. I tell them that I don’t know when to ask; they don’t seem to understand.

I’m learning to recognize when things are going awry and when what I’m feeling should be considered “unacceptable” because it’s suffering, not pain. I’ve accepted, at least at an intellectual level, that everyone needs help sometimes, including me. That’s been no easy task. Continue reading

It’s all semantics, you say?

SSGI try not to think about my days as a medical doctor too much but sometimes I can’t help it.

That was the case today. My mind drifted back to when I was an intern at the same hospital where I trained as a student. A big third-level referral centre* with the faculties of Medicine, Nursing, Microbiology, Physiotherapy and Nutrition Science  attached to it and the off-campus Ophthalmology and Cardiovascular hospitals a stone throw away. Continue reading

A Pictorial History of My Bipolar Meds

DeeDee newMedications are a major part of managing many mental illnesses, but something the general population has a hard time understanding. I’m not even talking about the issues of stigma, accepting “meds for life”, or side effects. I’m just talking about the process of finding the right cocktail to function as normally as possible. It’s hard to grasp without a good example, so here’s the history of my meds over the last two years (keeping in mind that I’ve been on psych meds for over 20 years!) Continue reading