I KNEW I should have cancelled my GP appointment

Note to self: next time just cancel it. Don’t question whether or not it’s sensible, or mood-related, just cancel it.

So I saw my GP this afternoon, and came out almost in tears (pretty rare for me, ‘soldier on‘ and all that). Why? Well, I’m pleased to say it wasn’t because my GP was angry, or told me off. My GP never does that; he might screw up his face or sigh when I’m reporting something bad, but there’s never anger.

Initially I didn’t think I could tell him anything – I just sat there and looked at the floor guiltily. To be honest that told him most of what he needed to know, but eventually I admitted to cutting. And I admitted to my pill-related activities, and how much I hated myself for promising him that I wouldn’t abuse last week’s prescription meds.

The first thing my GP talked about was meds, saying that slowly titrating off sertraline (Zoloft) and slowly building up the trazodone (Desyrel) doesn’t seem to be the right approach. Instead we made a plan for the next two days: come off the sertraline completely, and move up to 200mg of trazodone. Except he didn’t give me enough of the latter for me to do that, but by Thursday I’ll be taking 150mg which is three times what I’m on now.

With the meds sorted, he moved onto ‘keeping me safe’:

Should I be ringing the hospital, asking them if you can be admitted to stabilize…?

‘NO, THAT IS NOT HAPPENING. NO WAY.’

…okay, remember I’m asking, not telling…’

Is there a friend or someone who could stay with you for the next few days? No. Generally people don’t know, and I refuse to inconvenience the ones that do. They have their own problems. Okay…well look, given you’re not managing to work, and that this pain you’re in is only going to get worse as your deadlines and exams come closer over the next two months, perhaps you should drop out and save yourself the agony? No. I can’t. My parents don’t know about any of this. Okay…so you tell me, what could we do to make you safe? Nothing. I can’t think of anything that I couldn’t undo.

And then as I privately muse over how I should tell him there isn’t a solution and leave, he makes things worse. He tells me he’s going to make me an appointment to see the nurse tomorrow so she can check the damage I’ve done to my arms. I said that really wasn’t necessary, that I’d stitched them up myself with strips, but he wasn’t convinced (not that he looked, and I had them covered up anyway), and said he’d also like me to see the nurse so she can check I’m okay tomorrow. Oh fantastic. And he wants me to check in with him again on Friday.

AND THEN my GP very firmly told me that there is absolutely no point continuing with my studies right now, and that I should consider dropping out of university altogether. Bring my parents in to meet him and explain everything. Find a job, move on from academia, and get better. But I’ve heard this before; when I argued against taking time out this time last year, I was told I needed to give studying a break and would get better as a result. And we know how well that has worked.

My ‘homework’ is to think about a dream job, so we can work backwards in planning how to achieve it. The appointments are made (I’m now seeing the nurse on Thursday). I left. And tried not to cry.

I wish I didn’t have a brain; it hurts. First off, I feel awful about this appointment, because my GP was trying SO HARD to help me, and I didn’t help him in the slightest. That wasn’t deliberate and I wasn’t trying to be difficult; I had my own firm reasons behind every ‘no’ I gave. But I’m also stubborn, and very reluctant to believe that other people might know what’s best for me. My GP cares A LOT, and I try to shut him out. So yeah, I feel very guilty at how frustrating and difficult I made things.

Second…this dropping out thing…it can’t happen. It isn’t an option. I sometimes feel kind of pathetic when I admit that the thought of my parents suddenly finding out that a) I’m seriously mentally unwell right now and b) I’m dropping out for a second time scares the hell out of me despite me being in my twenties, but actually it’s fair. I’m financially dependent on them, so me suspending again means loaning me more money (a job would maybe cover rent, but this city is expensive and I’d also need to pay tuition fees etc). There’s also the problem that they don’t really understand depression etc, and would be firmly in the ‘laziness’ camp. And of course there’s the fact that I’ve effectively lied about my health improving continuously for the last few months (their current impression is that I have mild depression).

I can’t think anymore. I don’t even want to go to therapy tomorrow because this is such a contrast to how I was feeling last week. I don’t want to describe what’s happened since then.

I want to curl up and disappear.

P.S – want to know a secret? My GP doesn’t even know the worst of it. On Saturday I realized that although my highly impulsive, reckless state of mind was strange, I’d actually experienced it once before…about a month ago, minutes before I tried to kill myself.

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Check in: Bus havens

As some of my readers will know I’ve been pretty low recently, and today it has reached the point where it really starts to interfere with what I do on a daily basis. For example, I intended to go to the library and work on my dissertation, but when I set out I felt so bad that I scrapped that plan and ended up riding around on a bus. Maybe that’s a little random, but there’s something safe about bus rides. No one expects you to do anything except sit there. You can’t do anything *dangerous* because you’re not alone, but you’re alone enough that you can sit in silence in a situation where that’s completely normal and acceptable. If anyone tries to contact you and you don’t want to talk, you can legitimately brush them off by telling them that you’re on a bus, so you’ll call them later. It’s beautiful. Every day now I go into town, and then deliberately catch the bus that takes an hour to get back. 

Unfortunately I can’t really stay on buses all day, and buses aside I feel awful at the moment. I had therapy yesterday and came out of it feeling angry. We mainly talked about the Prof A situation (I still haven’t made contact), and I think I expected to come out of the session with a solution. My therapist gave me some advice on what to say to Prof A, but that doesn’t get me through the door, And then he made is 10x worse by talking about his feelings and concerns for me, which I prefer to believe don’t exist. I’m not good with trusting people, and I need to think of my therapist as someone doing a job, seeing people come in and out on a daily basis, the same stories cropping up again and again – not someone taking a personal interest in patients. My underlying fear/belief is that therapy could be withdrawn or cut off at any moment, and I need to be ready for that. When you’re this low you have to take precautions against situations that could drag you lower.

I suspect that if Prof A doesn’t hear from me by tomorrow, I’ll be in trouble with the higher-ups at university on Monday. Part of me wonders what I think I’m doing – if I get some kind of summons for this I have absolutely no defence here – and part of me is completely detached and doesn’t care. I’m siding with the latter part because when I feel this low I tend to curl up and tell myself the outside world can wait. I feel some DSH itchings but I’m stuck for where to do it, and as attractive as suicide seems right now, I still can’t figure out how to do it (see my previous post for why). 

Help?

Check in: Flying solo

I’m back home in my uni city, and the people I live with won’t return until Thursday so I have the space I’ve been craving over Christmas. It’s a relief not to be acting anymore, but I know for sure now that pretending to be fine was saving me from dealing with the emotional daggers that are jabbing me at the moment.

I feel like crying. I want to scream at passersby who irritate me in one way or another. I want to overeat and I want to starve myself. I really want to get the knives back out, but the scar across the back of my hand from last time is purple and ugly, reminding me of the longevity of the consequences. As an alternative to cutting I’ve smoked a couple of cigarettes, but it’s not the same.

I also failed on the gambling addiction front – I have two laptops and only blocked the instant win site on one of them. Boom, bye bye £30. I’ve now banned myself from using that laptop altogether until I can trust myself to use it without throwing money away.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Check in: Peering out of the hole

Last night was just weird, full stop. I think I had three or four hours sleep, max, and spent my morning buzzing with nervous energy despite being really tired. Fortunately my therapist helped me to start climbing out of the dark hole I was hiding in; we didn’t really identify why I’m so low at the moment, but it was good to talk about the symptoms and open up a little bit.

I bought some sleeping pills this afternoon, and I intend to take a few and start over tomorrow (yes, this is a stupid idea, but no, I don’t care). That means I’ll probably feel ill in the morning, but I’d rather that than risk having another crazy night ending in me making the cut across my hand even worse – I can already see that the skin isn’t knitting together right, so that’ll be another scar to add to the collection. Yay…

Check in: Scraping the bottom

I hit another low point tonight, and as predicted the DSH tools came out. I’ve felt like crying a lot today which is a bit unusual for me – I rarely cry. I don’t have anything against crying itself, but when I feel myself tearing up I immediately tell myself to hold it together and try and stop. I’ve realised with time that while I don’t judge other people for crying, I judge myself to be weak if I do it. I accept now that that’s wrong, but I don’t think the new attitude has quite penetrated my core.

I’m not sure why I’m so low. I know I’m angry because I keep finding myself hitting/kicking things like walls/pillars etc, but off the top of my head I can’t tell you who/what I’m angry at. I have therapy tomorrow so maybe I’ll find some answers there.

First post: A little introduction

Welcome to the blog of a woman who considers herself ‘mentally questionable’ at the best of times.

I’m a university student in the UK diagnosed with depression, with various add-ons (occasional anxiety, DSH, suicide ideation). The diagnosis seems to change with time, as does my medication regime, my mood, behaviour, and level of desperation/recklessness. Ironically the only thing that doesn’t change is my need for change.

Anyway, it has been suggested to me that it might be a good idea to blog about my experiences in case they can be of use to others, and I know I’ve taken comfort and advice from reading first hand accounts of different medicines and situations online, so here we go…