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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Please, desperate for advice...

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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
Hello. I’m writing because, simply: I need to, and secondly because I really would like advice. I know this is long, but I sincerely appreciate anyone who reads this. This is the tip of the ice berg...

I always had intense mood swings, and sleep problems.

Then my Grandma died when I was 8. I slept less than two hours a night. I couldn’t think. I acted, without being able to stop, on impulse. Eventually I had severe delusions.

I was sent to a behavioural unit for children, after planning to commit suicide. Upon release, it was determined that it was the death of my Grandma which had caused this episode.

But my moods got rapidly worse after that, not better.

For months I’d withdraw from everyone and desperately unhappy.

Sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly my moods would change. Back then it was normal waking up suddenly feeling ‘better’ and starting to ‘live’ again. I’d sleep very little.

When I was thirteen I had a ‘big outburst’. I ran away to Manchester. I felt invincible. Returning home a week later, exhausted, disorientated, in the same clothes...and with my nipple pierced. No one knew what had happened or where I’d been.

I, again, lapsed in to (clinical) depression.

Months later, I went on a school trip to France (even though I had no passport).

In France, my friends were in awe by my lack of fear. We had a party. I bought 30 cans of beer at a vending machine while the teachers were in the same room. Nobody knew how I had managed it. I also took the keys so no one could get in, but the students.

Eventually teachers came with the manager’s keys. The police came. It was discovered I had no passport. I was sent back to England and expelled from school.

I began using drugs and drinking to self medicate.

Every time my mood was ‘up’ I lived in squats etc, every time I went ‘low’ I crept back to my mum’s and hid.

I went back to school. I was expelled again within weeks.

I was sent to a ‘special’ school, but got expelled.

I was sent to another ‘special’ school.

When I turned sixteen I messed my GCSEs up. I couldn’t stop, I was reckless, even more impulsive. Eventually I went ‘crazy’ in a supermarket, cut my arms, ran and hid for a night under a canal bridge. Eventually I took myself to hospital shivering, blood soaked and confused. Nobody asked why I had hurt myself. I was just stitched up and sent out.

I had no job, no money, no real home and no qualifications.

I should’ve been miserable. I wasn’t...I had new ideas, new dreams suddenly.
: I wanted to go to College. The college required a person had five GCSEs all at grades A-C. I had one GCSE, an awful school record, and police cautions.
But I KNEW I had to be at college. Sure enough, twenty minutes later I walked out of the interview with a full time place studying five A levels.

This is what life is like when I’m at my best. I can excel at most things I do, and I have, but then I crash.

I got all As in that first year, and also got a job, moved back in with my mum.

Then my Brother attempted suicide for the third time. He moved back home.
and my brother began using a lot of speed and were drinking a lot. Everything was in my control. I was partying, studying, working.

I crashed, again.

My tutors used to find me asleep in winter outside of college, or collapsed in the toilets. I used to turn up wasted and get sent away.

I went to the doctor. I cried, broke down. I ASKED FOR HELP. He said it was ‘exam stress’ and told me to calm down.

I lost interest in college. I’d been so low for about two months, and had lost my university place at Bath University through messing up my exams, but suddenly it didn’t matter.

I had a new dream.

I just knew I had to go to London. My best friend was tired of my ‘mad ideas’, but I didn’t care. I emailed a London university asking for a place, even though I hadn’t the qualifications.

I was so confident, I didn’t even bother going through the application process.

Within twenty four hours I’d been given a full time place on a BA Hons Degree course without even formally applying. I knew I was good at ‘blagging’. This just strengthened my belief that I was capable of anything.

I packed a bag and went 300 miles to London, took the first room I saw advertised, rang about student loans and two weeks later I was in my lectures.

Amazing turned to desperate within a month. Why was I in London?
I packed a bag and in my head I just ’knew’ I had to go to Europe. I was going to travel the world and write amazing books about it. I got up to leave (in my pjs).

Two friends stopped me, by physical force.

The ups and downs were becoming closer together, shorter lasting, more intense. Sometimes I was insanely happy, fiercely confident and at the same time in despair, raging, angry. I drank more to try and escape.

I ended up in hospital with septicaemia, jaundice, kidney failure and dehydration. I was raving and disorientated. Even then nobody called a mental health professional to see me. I was just told if I kept drinking that I would die.

For a month after that I felt clear headed for the first time in years. I wasn’t up or down. I was just coping.

I met a guy, and we moved in together. Within a year we were addicted to heroin.

There was no up or downs anymore, just gear. No real feelings.

I overdosed so many times. I didn’t care if I died.

The first time I tried to quit heroin, I left London. I got clean, but experienced the worst ‘moment’ or incident I’ve known.

I still can’t remember much of that ‘incident’, but the police caught me trying to jump off a bridge. I had no logical thought. I felt like a black fog was passing over my mind. In moments I was clear headed, for the most part I was delusional. I thought everyone was out ‘to get me’. I fought the police. I had no recollection of where I had been or what I had done.

I went cold turkey, again a year later.

There’s usually a long period of depression after heroin withdrawal. Not for me. I felt unstoppable. I’d forgotten how good it felt to be ‘up’, and I was up.

I came back to London, to uni, to my boyfriend. I got numerous jobs, I used drugs, I had sex with numerous people, I went on shopping sprees.
After just three weeks, I lost it again.

I burst into tears, threw my partner out by his hair, threw his belongings out the window, screamed, cried...and fell apart.

I never got back with my now ex-partner.

I’d booked a driving test. I forced myself to leave the flat, to go. I was still parting, having affairs, shopping. I was so desperate, but I couldn’t stop.
I got half way through the driving test, stopped the car, burst in to tears and ran away. Next thing I knew I was in a field without a coat shivering cold. I felt crazy. I had to escape.

My mum says she has been waiting for me to kill myself for seven years. My friends don’t understand why I do these things.

I’ve tried to cope with this, hide it, laugh it off, but I can’t anymore.

Will power is what gets and keeps an addict clean. I know that because I am clean, but all this will power...and I can’t change. I have no control.

Bipolar runs in both my Mother and Father’s family. Three of my cousins, who were bipolar, have committed suicide in the past decade. They were all under the age of thirty.

I am 20. I have been diagnosed years ago with with depression, M.E. when I was ‘low’ and ‘insomnia’ when I was ‘up’.


Advice? Please, anything.
 
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Amor's_Tears

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
21
Location
Cambridge, UK
That sounds like a very harrowing experience you've had there. My advice is go and see your GP and tell them about your extremes of up and down. They will probably refer you onto someone else more qualified in diagnosing/treating specific mental health disorders. They may also prescribe medication that could help to stabilise your mood a little. Hope that helps.

Robert :)
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
I guess I Know that's what I should do. In moments, that sounds os obvious, so straight forward, but how?

What do I say? A lot of the time, when I am 'low', I find it very hard to speak, say anything. Where would I start? Last time I wrote stuff down and took it, but I'd feel too embarassed after last time being told 'it's just stress'. The doctor made me feel so small.

On top of that, 50% of the time I dont want to see a doctor, tell anyone. I feel fine, good, amazing. I was diagnosed with depression because they only see me when I am low...it figures they'd say 'depression'. I wouldn't drem of seeing the doctor when I'm 'up'. Who goes to see a doctor to ask why they're feeling so good, why they feel alive?

It's so hard o explain. I hear what you're saying. I know you're right. It's just by the time I've made an appointment my thoughts, mood, everything has changed and I canel it, or I simply know I cant explain what is wrong.

A huge thanks for listening, realy Thank you!
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
Tomoko - it is very very clear that at the moment you are not getting the right help. And for all of us getting the right help is vital. But it is unfortunately often very difficult and a lengthy process - no-one would suggest that it is straight-forward. As you say a part of the problem is that when you are 'up' you don't want to see a doctor or think about the 'downs'. Actually in a small way coming to a Forum like this regularly can help with that because it means you are thinking about Mental Health to some extent a lot of the time.

But in terms of your actual situation it sounds as if the doctor you saw last time was no good (if they said it was 'just stress'). Unfortunately GP's (I'm assuming it was a GP) do vary widely in their ability and competence to treat MH issues. I'm afraid it is a matter of luck. But if you don't get any real help then you need to try another GP. Basically you are doing everything right in terms of writing things down and so on. All we can do here is to encourage you to make another appointment, ideally with a different doctor, and to keep it. Sorry if this is not more helpful but there are no simple solutions.


Best of Luck.

Oh - sorry :welcome: to the Forum!!!

Nick.
 
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Amor's_Tears

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
21
Location
Cambridge, UK
I agree absolutely with what nickh above has said. It would be wise to see another GP as it sounds as though that one was just trying to get you out the door as soon as he could. There are good GP's around. My one has been very helpful.

Just another idea - you could keep a log book (or diary) with your mood and record it each day (or twice a day if necessary). Do it over a two week period. Take it to the doctor, and it should be obvious to him that you experience ups as well as downs (even if you are very down on the day you see him).

Robert :)
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
I have been keeping a journal since 1998. It documents my feelings, behaviour, thought processes etc. Resently I've been using a video diary too.

I'm scared at the moment if I go to the doctor because I know my 'mood' is getting increasingly worse. I did go to to the doctor before the last 'outburst' and was yet again diagnosed with 'insomnia' and given benzos. The benzos dont touch the sides when I'm 'up' or have a very limited effect.

Where I'm at right now, emotionally, I'm bouncing between total depression and agitation. I want to sleep constantly, but cannot sleep at all. I cant bear leaving my apartment. I have withdrawn from everyone, but I cannot sit still, cannot focus. I have university work due in and begin doing it, but the longer I try to stretch my concentration the more the stress build up. Its like a trigger. I know I'm teetering. In this stage I either go one way or the other. Right now I cant think very logically, consciously. This morning I couldn't and my behaviour now seems very odd to me. I'm both sad and excited, agitated, bouncing between laughing and screaming.

I'm scared off going to a doctor while I am in this state because I cant predict my behaviour, at this this stage the most I can do is stay in the apartment and try not to let myself get stressed. It's hard to do that, especially when I lose that rational thought so easily.

I am also very scared of what a doctor will do if I tell them the truth, and what will happen.

Thanks once again guys. It is so difficult to explain.
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
Sorry, I meant I can think rationally right now*, not I can't. My thoughts are all over the palce though. I'm not a big talker, but in these moods one minute I dont want to talk, the next I talk incessantly(sp0 for no reason. The thing is I'm aware I'm doing it, so that's ok. It's when that goes out of the window, when I'm not, that things get wierd.

I'm too scred to see a doctor right now, but I dont know wht I can do. I know I've got to ride it out, however long. DOnt know what else I can do.
 
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Amor's_Tears

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
21
Location
Cambridge, UK
Well I think you are doing really well anyway :) . Its good that you have kept a journal - you are definately going about this the right way.

Don't worry about the university work too much. If you can do it, great. If you can't, then leave it. Your health is more important.

Yes, I understand your fears about the doctor. They can't actually force you to do anything - they will only advise you. Also, it shouldn't matter too much what mood you are in if you have your journal with you. I know its difficult though. I get afraid of seeing my own doctor, even though she is good.

Robert :)
 
emski

emski

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
North West
Hi Tomoko and :welcome:

I agree with the others. Even though you may not want to see a doctor right now, have to get yourself some proper help - nothing bad will happen if you do but it might do if you don't see a doctor and your condition worsens. It sounds like you've been on a real rollercoaster and a lot of that I can identify with (I have bipolar disorder). I urge you to seek medical advice and take your journal with you as proof of your extreme mood swings and associated extreme behaviours. And tell them about the family connection. Amor is right, there is medication that can help, but you need to be seen by the right health professional first

Good luck, and let us know how you are doing :grouphug:
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
Thank you guys, honestly. I guess I came here (to a forum) because I know I need to do something. It is so much easier hiding behind a computer and annoymously typing though, you know.

It is wierd because over the past few weeks my mood and state have been worsening. I haven't left the house for nearly a week now. My behaviour and moods are becoming more erratic, and my sleep pattern is non-existant. I have noticably lost weight, my thoguhts are getting more disorganised, and because I am aware of all this I'm getting increasingly agitated and scared. This time is differnet thought because I have never had the accute self awareness, I currently have, while experiencing these symptoms. In thep ast I have always experienced a strong sense of self awareness during periods f depression, subsequent to having experienced the other symptoms. At the moment I feel both, which is doubly horrible; I feel like I am being pulled in two directions at once. I feel like I am in a contrary state. I cant explain it.

I want to see a doctor, but I am scared they will 'lock me up' or something, because of my current state. I have, so far in this state, withdrawn from all interaction with everyone. I know it is getting worse though, everything is getting faster.

I hope this makes sense. Can anyone tell me the likelyhood of what might happen? I know no one can tell me for sure.
 
emski

emski

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
North West
You're right, we can't tell you what will happen if you seek medical help. But I can reassure you that you probably won't be 'locked up'. If you were to be hospitalised this would either be for your own recovery, to stabilise you and establish sleeping pattern, or if you were a danger to yourself or others.

I really think you should see your GP first of all, s/he is your first point of call and if you don't see them you risk things getting worse and not getting any help. You could also print this post out and take it along to your GP, as it explains all your history and symptoms. I'm not a medical expert or qualified to give you any kind of advice, but to me it sounds like what you're experiencing is a mixed state or episode, because you seem to be of low mood but with symptoms of racing thoughts, agitation, sleeplessness and weight loss.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_episodes

Please see your doctor Tomoko, and please keep posting :hug:
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
But that is the main reason I wont see a doctor: if they think I'm some sort of danger to myself. If they try and 'lock me up' or something. I mean, what would happen to my apartment, my university degree, my money etc?!

I'd lose everything. That's be worse. If I lost what I've managed to build up, regardless of my problems, I really would be nothing, have nothing, no reason for anything.
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
But that is the main reason I wont see a doctor: if they think I'm some sort of danger to myself. If they try and 'lock me up' or something. I mean, what would happen to my apartment, my university degree, my money etc?!

I'd lose everything. That's be worse. If I lost what I've managed to build up, regardless of my problems, I really would be nothing, have nothing, no reason for anything.
Genuine & reasonable concerns.
 
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Tomoko

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
17
Is that sarcasm? It is hard to know when it isnt spoken (lack of tone). I thought it was though. If it was, you dont get what I am saying. *Is frustrated*

What I said may seem materialistic, but I've worked so hard, and if I lose my money and apartment I cant finish my degree. I didn't fail my degree when I was an active heroin addict or after any of my past ups or downs. My degree means everything to me and I love the subject. Its the only thing which keeps me going. If I lost that I'd really have nothing...no point for anything.

Doesn't that make any sense? It's everything to me. It is literally my life. Without what I study all I am is a failed, drug addict who cnt even control what they do or feel half the time.
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
No it wasn't sarcasm - it was genuine.

My life is full of catch 22's. All the orthodox psychiatric system do is to prescribe drugs - that's about the extent of the "help". How ill they think you are is not based on them listening to your concerns & your life, but on your behaviours. The more extreme your behaviour = the more they will react; i.e. sections, forced meds, etc.

I don't share some other peoples high regard of the MH system. I think the MH system in this country stinks & it completly fails most people. maybe there are some good people in the system who are "good" & who try to be of genuine assistance. But to me it is a bit like saying that there were some good people in the Nazi Party. Excuse my rant.

What do we do if we get labelled as being mentally ill? There is "no care in the community" - that is obvious. Treatment consists at best of medication. If you get too ill you get sectioned & given more drugs, if you get better you get thrown back out into the community in the same position as before - with no support.

The position I am in is having had virtually no support for close to two decades. I am dependant on meds & I have a lot of difficulties & problems. Living day to day is a balancing act, a fine balance with having leaned to cope with things. After many years & a continual battle, finally the LMHT has agreed to some limited psychological help. Initially I had one appointment with the psychologist about a year ago & they said they couldn't help. After going on at them some more I am now undergoing some limited sessions. It is some very limited assistance - which should have been offered some 20 years ago along with comprehensive help. At the last appointment we did finally cover some stuff. But that was after I got very angry & was honest about the deep resentment I had with the "system". I get from the psychiatric team now - That maybe I wasn't that ill after all, I have "apparent competence", they see I live alone (for the past 7 years), that generally I cope with what comes up. They do not understand how I feel some days & the difficulties I have. I am articulate & intelligent; & to them that correlates with not being "ill". As if mental illness means you are stupid!

I fear these upcoming changes in the benefits system, & people being forced onto even lower incomes & off benefits & into terrible jobs.

The simple fact is that there is something terribly wrong with the way the mentally ill are treated. It has been this way a very long time, & it needs to change.

I fully understand anyone being very apprehensive about seeking help through their GP or local psychiatric service. It isn't sarcasm, it is totally understandable. I don't know what is best to do if you become "mentally unwell" in this country. A supportive family & friends makes a big difference. I cannot honestly say that it is best to seek help with orthodox services. In many ways I wish I had never been involved with them. I had no choice - they used to section me, now I'm dependant on meds & "med complaint". I don't have a choice, I never did, I never will. If you are a "mental patient" - yours is not the position of empowerment or choice - you have no power in this relationship. Decisions will be made for you. You cannot win in this situation.

Sorry Tomoko, that I cannot be more positive or more help.

Many on this site will disagree with me & tell you that you are best off going off to the Doctor & the psychiatric team & laying all your cards on the table. I think that is a gamble which may or may not pay off; In my experience.
 
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