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Surviving without the services - help!

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shelly33

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
18
Hi,

Two years ago I self discharged from my CPN, and a year later my psychiatrist discharged me back to the care of my GP. I had no episodes until this January, when, mistaking hypomania for being cured, I stopped taking my meds.

I'm still dealing with the aftermath: deep depression and the problems that accompany it.

After I eventually went to my GP in April (it took me so long because I feared that she would refer me straight back to the services), she agreed to help me without the services' involvement if possible. I told her that I do better without them, and she can see the evidence. After 12+ years of mental health care, where I made little noticeable progress in my illness and behaviours (although I credit the services with helping me to acquire coping skills which I continue to rely on), in the past 2 years I have virtually stopped self harming (a few very minor incidents), gotten clean from a 10 year addiction and maintained a weight which is just within the recommended BMI (although I am still controlling around food and I do restrict).

I believe that the reason I have progressed without the mental health services is due to the following:
1: I get dependent on them, I am lonely and they become like friends and family
2: I want their help, but then it seems like they want to control everything and I rebel in ways that are ultimately self-injurious
3: I end up talking about my past and my relationships with them, and then I try and analyse it and find the answers in my head and that just makes everything worse
4: I end up analysing myself, becoming more self critical and this lowers my self esteem
5: I don't try as hard because then I think that they'll do more for me, whereas actually they can't. I don't appreciate that and because I'm not trying as hard my life deteriorates
6: I find that when they are understanding, it seems to legitimise my illness. It begins to seem OK to behave badly and not challenge myself and my thoughts, feelings and actions, because 'I can't help it, I'm ill'.

When I was under the care of the services, I didn't realise any of this. It was only after I left (I discharged myself from my CPN because she wanted me to go straight into group psychotherapy and felt that it would support me in getting and staying clean - lol, I knew that I needed time first but I know she saw that as an excuse) that I realised this. We parted on good terms though, and it's done me a favour, because I feel that in a lot of ways I am now actually in the strongest position that I have ever been in to go on to lead a more fulfilling life.

My GP has asked my old psychiatrist, who I saw for 10 years, for his opinion on my request not to involve the mental health services. He told her that he felt that it is 'probably for the best'. That endorsement means a lot to me.

But right now, I'm really struggling. There are times when I want to go to the GP and tell her I've changed my mind, and I'd like to be referred back to mental health, but I tell myself 'Just for today, I won't do that. Just for today, I can make it.' And so far I have. But I'm scared. I worry that I've convinced the GP that I'm alright when I'm not, because I speak from my head not my heart (I tell her exactly what I feel like, but that it's only a feeling and I can hang on. But when the feelings are so strong, I'm not sure that's the truth. But I'm writing this, and I haven't used drugs, self harmed or lost any more weight, so it must be the truth. I hope). I worry that I've convinced myself and everyone else that I'm doing the right thing with what looks like insight but may actually be a load of garbage because my mood is unstable. In short, I'm scared, but I'm sure I'm doing the right thing and I don't think that the GP and psychiatrist would have supported my decision if they felt that it wasn't sound or was risky. So today, I'll hang on a minute at a time if I have to, because I know that I can do this, and tomorrow, at my weekly GP appointment, I hope to share these fears with her. I know that deep down it's support and reassurance and someone to tell me that I can do it that I really want, not a CPN or psychiatrist. I want to feel safe, less alone and less scared.

But I would really appreciate some advice and encouragement, so if you've been in this position yourself, or if you can just reach out and say 'hi there, keep going', I'd be so grateful.

Thanks for reading. Sorry if it's a bit long and confusing.
Shelly xxxxxx
 
rollinat

rollinat

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Messages
1,816
What a great post Shelly (and welcome to the forum as well - sorry if I've missed your introductory post). It seems that you have a great understanding of your illness and sound reasons for not involving yourself once more with MH services. I guess as you have the support of your GP and regular appointments then if anything changes you can let them know.

It's something I wonder about too, becoming too dependent on MH services. In my case it's going to change soon as we're moving abroad in about 6 weeks - so that's pretty scary, to be without that support, but it will be interesting to see how I cope without it as well.

I have found this forum to be a very supportive place so hopefully you will find some reassurance and support here too. It sounds like you're doing really well - take care and I look forward to reading posts of yours again soon.

Rollinat :hug:
 
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shelly33

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
18
Hi Robillat, :thx:

Thanks for reading my long post, and for your supportive and encouraging reply. It meant a lot to me.

Good luck with your move abroad and with moving on from the services. I wish you well.

Shelly xxxxxxx
 
KP1

KP1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,500
Hi Shelley,yes your post was really interesting and thoughtful.
I suppose the key is flexibility and having the reassurance that you can have a little extra support if and when you need it.
KP
 
S

shelly33

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
18
Hi KP,

Thank you also for reading and replying to my post. I thought about your advice and it made sense. I realise now that I'm seeing the issue in black and white. It's hard for me to stop that, because it's something I tend to do, but I'm pleased that I am at least aware of it now. It's helpful for me to bear in mind that I do have the option to have a little extra help if I need it, and it doesn't have to be a disaster. Just recognising that fact helps me gain some much needed perspective, and suddenly, things don't seem anywhere near as drastic or desperate as when I left that post earlier.

Thanks again,
Shelly xxxxxx
 
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