Exhausting trip to see the new psychiatrist.

I can’t help but feel like today’s appointment with the new psychiatrist was some sort of test. A test to see how I react, and to see if I react like a typical person with borderline personality disorder.

I was told that I am preoccupied with the diagnosis factor of my illness, and in some ways, that is true… well, no too ways about it, it is true.

But why is it so important for me to get the right diagnosis? Well, to be honest, I’d have thought that would have been an obvious one. To me, getting the right diagnosis means getting the right treatment. Although a lot of psychiatrists argue that the treatments for BPD and Bipolar are the same, and don’t get me wrong, maybe they are, a lot of the symptoms they will be trying to treat will be different to the symptoms they think they will be treating.

The symptoms they believe they will be treating according my current diagnosis:

http://www.bpddemystified.com/what-is-bpd/symptoms/

The symptoms that they will actually be treating according to my illness actually cycles:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

Now, I know there are similarities between the two but there are some very clear differences and there is a great article on http://www.psychologytoday.com about these differences.

The link is here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201003/three-easy-ways-differentiate-bipolar-and-borderline-disorders

I am actually getting very tired now, so I’m struggling to write now. The slight progress that was made is that as well as the BPD is that on my notes the psychiatrist added, well the way I understood it was that he added as a duel diagnosis, Cyclothymia. At first I was actually insulted. I am depressed, severely depressed at the moment, and have been for some time now, so this understandably upset me a little, but not enough for it to affect my day. I have a hard enough time trying to concentrate on my studies and just get through the day in general when I’m suffering a depressed phase. It did strike me though, that my apparent struggle to clearly get my point across today, as I sometimes do, may have put the psychiatrist under the impression that I do not know as much as I do on the subject, (I’m losing my train of thought) ah, yes, the reason I was at first insulted by this, is that it occurred to me that regardless of the diagnosis, I do not feel that my illness is taken as seriously as it should be.

That is about as much as I can handle for one night, despite the fact that it’s almost midnight, and even though I can’t really sleep, I really have to call it a night.

H x

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A Call for Help With Esther McVey

Ramblings of a Fibro Fogged Mind

As we have still had no reply or acknowledgement from Ester McVey the minister for Disabled People. We would like Your help, we want everyone who signed the Open Letter  and anyone who would have liked to, to write to there MP asking them why 866 people haven’t even been acknowledged or replied to.

To make this easier we have produced a Template Letter  that you can edit. Please put your own opinion in if you feel up to it as template letters on their own have little effect.(Esther Mcvey template)  You just need to put your name and address on it, to prove you are a constituent and so you can be replied to. You can also email it if you prefer. Just remember to edit out the Red highlighted section as this is for your information.

Please let us know how you get on, we…

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(Insert title here) I can’t think straight.

I have had a really rough past couple of weeks. I’m even sure I can write competently to be honest, but I’m willing to give it a go.

I’m going through an extremely low period at the moment, last far longer than I remember of any low phase I’m had in the past, which to be truthful doesn’t say much, because my memory is dreadful. Still, this has been going on since before Christmas. People think I’m okay, but I’m really far from it.

I spend my days covering up because people either make it abundantly clear that they don’t want to know you when you’re like that, or they suddenly become experts with the oh so surprising advice of “why don’t you just snap out of it”. If only it were that simple, I’d love to look at the positives in life when I’m like this, and believe that they mean something. I’d love to believe that the people in my life really do care. I’d love the have the magic ‘off switch’ that people seem to think comes with having a mental illness. If only.

What frightens me, is that even some of the professionals have this same dismissive attitude, as though that off switch really does exist. It does frighten me that these people are at the front line of our care and support package. Don’t get me wrong, not every single one is like that. I have worked with some truly amazing people over the last couple of weeks. Real people, who really understand what it is like to be in a mental health crisis. The reason, it’s because these people are mental health patients themselves, and they’re not afraid to share their experiences to help someone get better. I find that truly amazing, and only wish that I could work with these people on a permanent basis. Just, absolutely incredible and inspirational people.

No if we could find people that work on the front line to be such a credit to the job, we’d all have a much smoother recovery period. It’s not all about what you read in a text book. Text books can never really give a true account of what may happen with someone suffering from a mental illness. What gives the true account, is the person who lives it. The person who, for them, it is all just a normal part of life. And the so-called professionals would do well to remember is that.

Of course, not each individual may know exactly what is wrong, or what type of illness they have, but they sure as hell know how it makes them feel, and how they behave, and what works for them in the short-term to help them try and pull through. So please professionals, please start listening to your patients, and if they don’t know what to do to help themselves, for goodness sake, do not say to them “what do you want me to do?”

That is about all from me for now, because between fighting to keep my head above water, concentrating on my studies and the million other things I’ve got going on, my brain just does not want to function any more.

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed your summer solstice yesterday.

H x

The Coming Tyranny and the Legal Aid Bill.

Our country is falling apart at the seams and the people are letting the government get away with it. Why are we condoning this for crying out loud???

Politics and Insights

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“Ministers keep using the mantra that their proposals are to protect the most vulnerable when, quite obviously, they are the exact opposite. If implemented their measures would, far from protecting the most vulnerable, directly harm them. Whatever they do in the end, Her Majesty’s Government should stop this 1984 Orwellian-type misuse of language.”  – Lord Bach, discussing the Legal Aid Bill.

Source:Hansard, Column 1557, 19 May, 2011.

The Ministry of Justice’s “reforms” (Tory-speak for cuts) to legal aid undermine the fundamental principle of legal equality and violate Article 6(1of the European Convention of Human Rights: the right to a fair trial. They reflect a truly authoritarian agenda of legislative tyranny: the reforms effectively remove legal access for many, crucially that access ultimately safeguards individual liberty against intrusion by the State, and protects us from despotic abuses of authority.

The cuts will seriously undermine access to justice and…

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Meeting with Crisis Team “new guy” and a little bit of hope for me!

Well I think it’s safe to say that I’m not really off to a very good start with this blogging business! But then to be fair, the last couple of days I have been quite poorly, to the point where no studying has been done, no housework has been done… to be perfectly honest, virtually nothing has been done! Oops!!

Since my last post however, I have managed to have a very successful meeting with a member of the dreaded crisis team. Yes, and just when I thought it was impossible to have one of those. I will say that I am still being very cautious over any dealings with them, but this guy was new. When we spoke over the phone, we did seem to get off on the wrong foot, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt anyway, and met with him.

At first, he asked me about what I thought that the crisis team could do to improve their service to myself and other people using it. My very first thought, was off the many times I have called them up in a state of crisis, wishing to do harm to myself, and all they’ve done is moan at me about how busy they are. I made a very strong point about that. I’m not a trained professional, but I know that if someone phones you for help, and all you can do is go on and on about how busy you are, instead of actually listening to the person, they are going to be put off by it. They will be reluctant to call in the future, because they will think that they’re a burden. They will think that they are being a nuisance. It is the crisis team’s job to help people in those situations. Not to make them feel guilty for calling for help. That to me would increase the risk of harm to the caller. Telling someone who feels suicidal that you’re too busy to talk to them can have disastrous consequences.

I also made a point of saying to him that the way that crisis team members speak to people is also very important. When you feel low, it is very easy to feel like a person is being patronising, that I do know from personal experience, but because there are so many different levels to various different moods, you do sometimes realise that actually, some of them are being patronising and are talking down to the person. It is bad practice for any medical professional to do that, never mind one who is dealing with someone’s fragile mental health.

Now, still being poorly, I can’t quite remember what else I said to help them try and improve the way they deal with people, not that I hold a lot of hope that things will change in that department, but in relation to my own personal treatment, this guy then went on to listen to my story of how I feel I have been misdiagnosed, and it looked to me as though he really understood where I was coming from, and much to my surprise, he is going to try and arrange for me to see the new consultant psychiatrist with the hope that we can try and get this diagnosis mix up sorted out. Brilliant news for me if he really is as good as this guy said he was.

For now though, I have to wait for an appointment, which may take a while, so in the meantime, I need to try and keep my head above water, and concentrate on feeling better, so for now at least, I’m signing off. Bye for now.

H x

I’ve filled in the “About” section… now what?

Haha, of course, I do know what I’m doing really, but after I filled in the said “About” section, I kinda felt obligated to write my very first post due to my poor blog looking very bare. I do know that in time there will be plenty of my waffling on to read back to myself, but no, I just couldn’t leave it looking so empty. Maybe it was the obsessive-compulsive side of me that couldn’t handle it, but who can tell!

Now… where to start? Well, as it says on the “about” section, I have a very colourful mental health history, and a very confusing one at that. Now whether I have found the worlds dumbest in the history of mental health professionals, I do not know, and that includes the psychiatrist as well as the infamous crisis team. Oh the joys that they are to deal with. I am of course being EXTREMELY sarcastic!

You see, I am actually a mental health student, but due to the length of time I’ve been battling these issues, and that has been for over half of my life, I have done so much research regarding the various different illnesses. More specifically, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety and bipolar!

Now, while I believe myself to be a rapid cycling bipolar, I also believe that this is where the psychiatrist has become confused. He is not from the UK and his understanding of the English language is not brilliant! I think I spend nearly half of the session asking him to repeat himself, while the other half is spent with him asking me to repeat myself. It’s not very productive at all. However, I’m getting off topic here. Where I think he has got confused, is that he seems to think that I cycle faster than I actually do, and that my cycles are all over the place, when in actual fact my cycles are very clear phases of depression, mania, and “normality” and I use that term loosely, and each phase can last for weeks, even months, whereas a borderline or BPD cycle can be several times a day, and can last seconds or minutes.

I don’t believe that is the only thing that has lead him to this confusion. While there are some similarities between borderline and bipolar, there are also some very distinct differences, and it’s because of these differences that I do not agree with the psychiatrist.

Now I will keep this short and sweet, because I actually have an appointment with the crisis team in the morning that I have to prepare for, which could take some time given the fact that I am up against supposedly trained professionals who are so ignorant that they believe people with bipolar don’t self harm. I think I have my work cut out for me!

Bye for now!!

H x