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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

New here and high (possibly triggering)

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xpurplexamyx

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
Hi All,

First post, and sadly, it's not a good one... but then, when I'm feeling balanced, I don't tend to dwell on my BP. I'm Type II, with ultra-rapid cycling, though most of the time, I'm some degree of depressed. I'm also unmedicated - my psychiatrist didn't want to prescribe, as I was "coping well on my own". He did add a note of some drug on my medical records, in the event I had bad insomnia and wanted a treatment at short notice though.

There was a time when being manic would make me happy, but, these days I just find it distressing. This past week has been hell; I had a cold, which triggered my insomnia, and a few days ago, I ended up awake for 50 hours - I wasn't even noticeably manic (I tend to feel tingly all over during manic episodes, like my whole body is vibrating) at the time. I ended up having to medicate myself with OTC sleeping tablets just to get a few hours sleep -- I went to the doctor to ask for whatever it was (honestly can't remember, but I seem to recall it being a benzo) that my psych had added to my records, but because I've moved house, my new PCT doesn't have my medical records and the doctor was unwilling to prescribe anything at all. =[

Today, while at work, my mood suddenly shifted to recognizable mania, the tingling came on strong, and my mind started going at a mile a minute and I couldn't stop laughing at things that just aren't funny. I left early, and got home safely.

The last manic episode I had that was this bad was at 17; I ended up booking a flight on my mom's credit card, and flying to New Mexico for 3 months (usually I just end up buying clothes and shoes that I don't need on-line). Right now, I'm scared I'll do something equally stupid.

I don't have that many friends, and I'm really not sure what to do. I've been thinking about maybe going to A&E, but I'm so afraid that they'll either see me as a drug-seeker and turn me away, or just section me, and I can't do to lose my job because of that. I suppose, technically, I am just a drug-seeker right now... ideally, I'd love something that will bring me back down to earth and stop me feeling this way, but I don't know how to get it without risking being hospitalized "for my own safety"; I have a history of suicide attempts (though none in the past year or two), and my arms are covered in scars from self-injury, but I've been clean for 18 months.
I know that I could deal with it by using alcohol and self-injury, but, I'm 25, I'm supposed to be responsible, and, I fear that if I go back to that hole I was in, then I'll never get out again.

I could really use advice right now, if anyone has any?

Thanks.
Amy
 
X

xpurplexamyx

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
So, I bit the bullet... after driving around for a while, and pulling into a side-road, and called the nhs direct. Spoke to a really friendly nurse, who sounded like she actually cared, and who gave me the number to get me through to the Mental Health Crisis Team.

It went downhill from there.

Called that number, spoke to an operator, who sent a fax to the wrong people.
An old guy called me, and informed me that he wasn't who I should be speaking to, and gave me the number for a mental health helpline.

Called the mental health helpline, and had an incredibly one-sided conversation with some lady who answered the phone. She asked me a bunch of questions, which I answered, and told her that I was feeling out of control.

She told me that I sounded in control, since I didn't want to hurt myself, and had called her, and to go to sleep and show up at the local CMHT office tomorrow morning at 9am. I asked her how I was supposed to get through the night, given that I can't sleep anyway due to insomnia, and I definitely won't be able to sleep due to mania, and was told to try my best.

Asked about A&E, and she told me she'd rather I didn't go there, and if I was still feeling manic throughout the night, I could call her back to talk about it.

Why is it so damn hard to get immediate help?

I feel emotionally drained from trying to control the impulses I keep having, like driving 2 hours to the beach... and that's starting to sound so appealing. It just seems easier in the long run to let go instead of fighting it. :(
 
R

rasselas

Guest
...

i'd personally go on a fast walk at this point and do a bit of jogging. but i know thats different for a woman.

you need to use that energy up a bit.

situps etc might help.

also try to distract yourself with calming music. have a l;ong soak in the bath.

if you continue to feel overwhelmed ring again. theyll remember you. explain you might appear agitated and thats also a part of your symptomology. ask to be taken seriously.

do you have any expectations about how theyll help you?
 
X

xpurplexamyx

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
Yeah, you're right. Burning energy is good. I'd been so busy concentrating on trying to not let myself do anything stupid that I'd been alternating between sitting on my couch, pacing around my house and chain-smoking, in silence. Likely did more harm than good with that!

I've been tidying my house, and listening to decent music for the past hour though, and it's definitely taking my mind off it. Bath sounds like an excellent idea too. :)

Honestly, I don't know what expectations I should or shouldn't have...

Long term, I know I can deal (whether rightly or wrongly) with the relatively constant depression and minor ups without medication, but, it's times like this that I wish I had a pill I could take to make it go away, and to help me sleep.
I guess that's my expectation; that when my mind is doing this to me, there'd be someone to say "here, take this 5mg of diazepam home, take it when you get there, go lay down, and feel better until next time".

I have a tumultuous history with mental health professionals -- it was only last September that I finally found a GP and psychiatrist who took me seriously, and I honestly thought I'd been making progress, but I never outright demanded treatment from the psych.
I'm pretty sheepish in those situations; something caused by running into the worst kind of doctors over the last 10 years and I'm deathly afraid of being called a liar (due to the experiences I've had in the past with uneducated or old-fashioned doctors and cpns telling me "your scars aren't severe enough to worry about" or "just pull yourself together").
That's probably my own fault though... I tend to present as this successful girl who has a career, a house, a nice life. It's mostly just smoke and mirrors though so people don't see how messed up I really am, and I find it difficult to turn that shield off for their benefit.
 
E

eternaljourney

Guest
I've just read your posts and I can really see where you're coming from.

How are you at the moment?

Eternal
 
X

xpurplexamyx

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
I feel drained, emotionally and physically, but tiredness hasn't hit yet. I feel better than I did though... less anxious and less impulsive, but, I'm not sure if that's just the exhaustion masking it... I still have that tingling feeling at the back of it all, just a bit milder than before. I haven't been able to sleep at all either. :(
I didn't do anything stupid, or even buy anything last night though! :D

Of course, now I'm sat here wondering whether I should go to the CMHT at 9 o'clock, since I'm feeling a little better. I know I probably should, but, there's this nagging voice in my head saying "you're no longer presenting acute symptoms." "they'll think you're a fraud." "they have more important things to do than listen to you.", and it's really really difficult to try and ignore it.

I just want to say thanks to everyone for your support, knowing that I'm not on my own helps so much.
 
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eternaljourney

Guest
I think you should go this morning to the CMHT but it's up to you and whether you think you're really coping.
I know what you mean about slowing down a bit with exhaustion but try and think of how you'll feel in a few hours or tonight again. Maybe you feel a bit more in control because you're closer to talking to someone about it now or you're relieved to have got through the night?
Try not to self medicate with anything either at the moment. I mean with something like nytol or herbal calms stuff, it's best for you to be just as you are when you see someone.
I'm not going to talk about my situation at the moment but I can really relate to what you've said in your posts.
Could you let me know how you get on if you do decide to go this morning?
 
X

xpurplexamyx

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
I think you should go this morning to the CMHT but it's up to you and whether you think you're really coping.
No, you're right. I really need to stop swallowing my own lie - my coping equates to working and hiding from the world in my house, self-medicating where necessary, and then losing the plot every few months. I really need to change that; the eye of a hypomanic storm seems to be the perfect catalyst, I guess.

I know what you mean about slowing down a bit with exhaustion but try and think of how you'll feel in a few hours or tonight again. Maybe you feel a bit more in control because you're closer to talking to someone about it now or you're relieved to have got through the night?
Yeah... I'm barely thinking an hour ahead right now. I know from insomnia that after not sleeping, the next afternoon and evening is... interesting. I didn't even consider the sleep-deprivation compounding with what's going on in my head right now, however diminished it may seem. Plus... the last time it was as bad as last night, it ebbed and flowed for a week.

Try not to self medicate with anything either at the moment. I mean with something like nytol or herbal calms stuff, it's best for you to be just as you are when you see someone.
I won't. I haven't self-medicated since the day before yesterday (the night before this all started), and even then it was barely helping with the sleep, so it seems entirely not worth the risk.

I'm not going to talk about my situation at the moment but I can really relate to what you've said in your posts.
Could you let me know how you get on if you do decide to go this morning?
When this is over, I'd love to hear about your situation. And yep, I'll report as soon as I get back from the CMHT... no clue how long it'll take though.

Thank you for talking sense into me! :)
 
S

skyblue

Guest
I hope you manage the meeting this morning, I think it's important that you go.

I really didn't agree with the Crisis lady you spoke to, saying that you shouldn't go to A & E.

Anyway, hopefully you're now getting the right help from the CMHT.

Let us know how you get on.

:flowers:
 
X

xpurplexamyx

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Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
Well, I went. It turns out the disinformation about my local CMHT moving offices that I found last night on an nhs website is a lie. Got there for 9 o'clock, before the rush started, told the receptionist what was going on, and the senior cpn saw me about 5 minutes after that.

Spent 30 minutes in an "interrogation" - non-stop question and answer, with her trying to keep me from going off on tangents, and gave her basically all of my key mental health history, current symptoms, dealings with my psych (she was appalled that I'd only seen him three times), and made sure she knew I wasn't currently suicidal or a threat to myself... you know, beyond deciding to go skydiving without a parachute or something, because it felt like a good idea.

(Possibly triggering content below)

The only down point to this entire conversation, and something that I really think NHS staff should learn to avoid, is saying "Well, those scars look relatively superficial and not very serious" when a patient admits to self-injury. I know none of my scars had stitches; because I never went to hospital for them, even if they were deep... and most of the really deep ones are on my legs over arteries, and on my left arm, which is just layered scar tissue (I have zero feeling in any of it). The last time a nurse said that to me, I went home and obsessed over them being too shallow. Personally, I think that any form of self-injury, no matter how "superficial" is pretty damn serious. Anyway, I digress.

Interestingly, you make things much harder for yourself down the line, if you spend a year seriously attempting suicide every single day, without anyone finding out. Mental Health services seem to work on the principle that if you weren't admitted to hospital for it, then it obviously wasn't serious or just didn't happen. I question how taking 120 pills in one sitting, washing it down with a bottle of vodka, and passing out for 48 hours straight could be considered trivial. The headache I had when I woke up certainly didn't feel trivial. The fact that somehow my liver and kidneys came out unscathed probably doesn't help either. I think she eventually got the fact that I wasn't exaggerating, and that that really was the darkest part of my recent past.

She asked some other questions along the lines of finding out how isolated I am "do you have any friends in the area?" "family?" "anyone?!", and I'm hoping saying "no" to these hasn't given me a shortcut to being hospitalized - she took my address just after that. =|

At the end of all the questions, and after she was satisfied that she had everything she needed, she told me that she was going to get in touch with my psych in London, to see if she can get my mental health records (apparently I don't exist on the system!), and then she's going to call me, and hopefully get me in to see a Doctor today. She's leery about doing that before they've attempted to speak with my psych, since they want to find out why he didn't prescribe me meds before they do so.

I did tell her that it was probably my fault, because I never come out and ask for the help I need, usually passing everything off as being A-OK, to which she promised me that she'd definitely get me help.

It didn't feel at all clinical though, it was a relatively free-form chat, where I actually felt involved in my own destiny to a degree. She even laughed at my really bad jokes (my psych has no sense of humor whatsoever), and threatened (jokingly) to tie me to the building if I didn't promise that I wouldn't do anything manic.

In other news, the mania is coming back pretty strong now... at least an end is in sight though. :)
 
A

Affective

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Nov 5, 2009
Messages
414
I've had an interesting read going through your posts. I am appalled that some of these 'professionals' didn't take you seriously.

Would you ever consider going on a Mood Stabilizer or even an Antipsychotic?
 
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xpurplexamyx

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Messages
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I've had an interesting read going through your posts. I am appalled that some of these 'professionals' didn't take you seriously.
Yeah... that said though, I have this habit of generally going into those rooms, and losing the ability to cry out for help once I'm there. I don't know if it's the stand-offish environment I always seem to feel when I get there, or whether that feeling is exacerbated by a lack of confidence.
I generally end up brushing over a lot of my issues, and getting none of the support I need - "I'm bi-polar, but I've been unmedicated for 10 years, since SSRIs triggered it, and I'm coping." when really I should be saying "I'm bi-polar but I've been unmedicated for 10 years, since SSRIs triggered it. I cope, to the point that I don't want to kill myself anymore... but that's only because it took me a year of attempts to realize that for some reason, I'm insusceptible to self-destruction, and that I should just give up (there's a whole load of irony there, if you look at it from a jaded enough perspective). I have no life to speak of, due to panic attacks and anxiety in social situations. The only time I leave my house is to go to work, or when I force myself to go food shopping. Etc. Etc. Etc. I could do better than this, I know I could, if you'd help me."

I'm sure if I said that, they'd take me more seriously. The messed up thing is, the only time I'm confident enough to do that is when I'm hypomanic, and the "regular appointments (read once every 3-4 months)" with my psych invariably fall on days that I'm depressed, introverted and have zero confidence to be able to speak up. So I suppose today worked out well. :)

Would you ever consider going on a Mood Stabilizer or even an Antipsychotic?
Gods yes. I asked for "Mood Stabilizers... or *something*" (direct quote, in a pleading voice) in my first session with my psych, and he said it probably wouldn't help me because I tend to spend most of my time in depressive episodes.
Honestly though, I'm willing to take pretty much anything that's on offer if there's the slimmest possibility that it'll make me better - nothing I'm doing or have done works, obviously. I'd be happy to be a guinea pig, with a different combination of drugs every month until they find one that works, and all the misery that goes along with the side-effects and all that crap; because where I'm at right now is debilitating to the point of being beyond bearing.
 
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xpurplexamyx

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Mar 15, 2010
Messages
37
So, I finally got a call back. I now have an appointment, on the 1st of april at 12 o'clock, in which they don't plan to prescribe anything. Back to self-medicating and "coping" it is then =/
 
jax

jax

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That's terrible firstly that the appointment is so far away and secondly that they won't prescribe something. I don't get it - what it their problem? I would like to know who made the decision not to medicate - was it the CPN or was it your own pdoc? I feel for you, I really do.
Jacqui
 
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xpurplexamyx

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I guess they must see me as a drug-seeker; that's the only reason I can think of. Especially considering the cpn contacted my (old now, I suppose) pdoc, got his opinion and my history, and then spoke to a local (who I guess will become my new one) pdoc, and they all agreed that they are unwilling to medicate me, and to an April 1 appointment. I assume my old pdoc passed on plenty of "Yes, well, she presented as quite together each time I saw her. Very level headed, seemed in control of her life. Has a history of abusing pharmaceuticals and alcohol though. So, really, I think this will pass, and it's un-necessary to risk giving her medication."
April Fools Day is a great day for an appointment that stems from a hypo-manic episode that will be long done with by then, and which is still acute as I type this, don't you think?

Its stupid really, when you think about all the hassle getting anything from the CMHT is, if I just wanted hard-drugs, I'd go buy them instead of wasting precious time and resources. The only reason I bothered going to them is because I want to stop that kind of out-of-control self-destructive behavior, but really... what's the point? It honestly feels like the CMHT option is equivalent to climbing over mount everest and the self-medicated, self-injuring, self-destructive, alcoholic option is a tunnel straight under it. I was high functioning when I was all of those things too, in fact, my existence has only become this meager since I convinced myself that I'd be better off without them.
I think if I wasn't so euphoric right now, I'd probably be balling my eyes out. Such sweet small mercies.
 

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