On Wednesday I agreed to my GP referring me to a senior psychiatrist at our local psych hospital. I didn’t believe they would contact me *in time*, and I only agreed in order to take some of the responsibility for my care off of my GP, who I owe so much. So imagine my surprise when the hospital called me at 9am this morning, ‘asking’ me to come in at noon.
I felt absolutely sick, despite immediately reaching for the propranolol. I genuinely didn’t expect to hear from these people, and I hadn’t thought about how to handle an assessment. Usually my policy is honesty towards those who are trying to help, but I can’t risk being locked up. This was turning into a nightmare, and when I keep secrets it tends to show on my face.
The consultant psychiatrist I saw was friendly, and kicked off by reading me excerpts of my GP’s referral letter – I liked the bit that said ‘0sername is making a rational decision, and it is almost impossible to find a cogent argument to dissuade her‘. I disliked how much this apparently worried him. It then turned into the standard psych list of questions: why do you want to die/why haven’t you done it yet/are you sleeping okay etc.
End result: I’m no longer med free – they’re putting me back on fluoxetine (Prozac) because that’s worked for me before, and adding lithium as apparently that has anti-suicidal effects. Riiight. And I have to see the ‘assessment team’ (i.e. the infamous ‘crisis team’ in disguise) asap, to negotiate me handing over my bottle of X. HA, GOOD LUCK! Following that, I’m supposed to be seeing the psychiatrist again in 2-3 weeks.
I’m not entirely sure what I make of all this. I think a few months ago I would have been delighted to go back on fluoxetine since I opposed being taken off the one drug that worked, but it takes 4-6 weeks to work. The lithium takes even longer. And to be frank…I don’t have that long. The idea of seeing the assessment team is irritating because I already know I’m not going to give up my exit materials, but I’m told it’s important that I give this a go. On the other hand, a positive is that the psychiatrist recognised how inappropriate it had been for me to see junior psychiatrists who rotated (aka disappeared) every six months, given that I have trust issues, and she’s going to find me someone senior who won’t do that.
…except again, given time is running out, what difference does this make…?
I’m anxious, because I can feel a tiny flicker of hope inside me, when I have been devoid of hope since Monday. Hope is dangerous. Very dangerous. It makes you sign up to giving things another go, and blinds you to the fall that always comes. It may be a week away, or a month, or longer, but you always end up back where you started or worse, wondering why you put yourself through this again.
My position at this moment in time is unique. I have exit materials; my bottle of X. I have minimal commitments – I don’t have a job, I’ve just finished education, I’m not in a relationship, and there’s no one dependent on me. This is a real opportunity. I can’t throw this away just in case what happened today changes something.
My brain hurts. I haven’t eaten since yesterday lunchtime. Once again, I don’t know what to do.