Tag Archive: cognative behaviour therapy

It’s been a few weeks since I posted last and not much has changed regarding stress, lack of support and my mental health. Except my mental health is worse.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started getting even worse. But worse is what it got. I self-harmed more harshly then usual and started self-harming on my inner arm, which is somewhere I have not self-harmed before. Just a few days ago, I wanted to slash my arm open. But I did not act on that.

Some time in the last 2 weeks I started going extremely downhill. And it got to it’s worse last Friday. I just woke up in despair and I can’t recall if that was the day I self-harmed or whether it was earlier last week. I had taken an overdose of my old antidepressants(Mirtazapine) and Lorazepam on the previous Sunday night. Not caring about the outcome. So it was partially a possible suicide attempt. I took 6 Mirtazapine and 2 Lorazepam. And the next night, I took 8 Mirtazapine and a few nights later 4 Mirtazapine.

I knew I was in a really bad place, as when I was extremely drunk last Thursday night, I was drawing very dark things and words. Things like ‘RAGE’, ‘I want to be loved, but I don’t deserve to be loved’ and pictures showing I’m really not ok. I was also being really mean to my fiance that night. Calling him a loser and being nasty. Though I did apologize and was totally honest with him about where I am at with my mental health and explained my motivation for calling him a loser.

I knew I needed to seek help a.s.a.p when I had a fleeting thought, that maybe I should go sit in the corner of the yard and kill myself. This was a flashing red light and warning sign to me, that I was really not ok. So, being that I’d not been taken seriously by mental health, even with them knowing about the overdose, I called the hospital and asked to talk to the CATT(crisis assessment treatment team) and told them everything. They asked me to come into the ED(emergency department) and get assessed by them. Which I did and they offered me respite. They wanted me to be there for 5 days, but unfortunately I could only stay 2 nights, due to appointments my fiance needed to be at this week and me being the one with the full license.

I found it upsetting that when I came home to get some stuff for my stay in respite, that he insinuated he didn’t see the point in me going to respite and made me feel like it wasn’t ok by him, for me to go. And I responded by crying and saying “I finally do the right thing, after trying to remain strong for SO long and I need to put my mental health first and I feel like you are telling me that’s not ok”. And he responded by saying, it’s not like I told him when I left for the assessment I might end up going to respite. And I told him, I didn’t know I would be offered that option, as I was so used to not being taken seriously and not being offered the help I need.

The staff from the CATT team and respite were really supportive and compassionate, which was good. I did feel at a loss of things to do to occupy my time there, especially during the day. So I baked a cake and then organized all the magazines into what magazine they were, how good the magazine was, week, month and year order. And then which was most relevant and helpful. I did similar with the books.

I have still been struggling since I came home. I feel like my fiance’s parents really don’t care. As when I told my fiance’s mum I had just come home from respite, she didn’t respond by offering more support.

Things haven’t been overly good with my relationship since coming home. A few days ago, when I was expressing my enthusiasm about moving to Nelson at some point and how that will help at least a little with my mental health and be really good, because I will have my family around me. And reminding my fiance, that just because I am at home, it doesn’t mean I’m all better and that I didn’t have the choice to stay in respite for as long as was needed and how I was unhappy about the afternoon I got home from respite, that he pretty much abandoned me. Left me in the lounge with my youngest daughter and his mum and her friend and he spent the rest of the day gaming. And he responded by saying “maybe you should just move to Nelson then, as that will be better for everyone. I(my fiance) could be a single Dad and financially I’d be better off. And you(me) could go get your head right and maybe even get a job”.

This really upset me. And started affecting my sleep, as significant stresses tend to do. As I would be worrying at night, if he wanted me gone and also worrying about our lack of money. Part of me being extremely distressed last Friday, was also about the money issues and me being consumed with worry about not having enough money for food and it just overwhelmed me so much, that I could not cope any more.

What I hate, is how a few days later, he acts as if all that didn’t happen and doesn’t seem to get how upsetting it was for me, him saying all that and how that effects me. He’s like “I’ve already forgotten about it, it’s in the past”.

I finally met my CMH(community mental health) nurse and social worker yesterday. But their visit was purely to get my background. Not an appointment of any help regarding my current mental health state. So that was an hour or so of questions and next week I have my first appointment with the CMH Psychiatrist, which also involves the social worker and community nurse and that’s 90 minutes long. I’m hoping in this assessment I can discuss a possible assessment of whether I have PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder) But on the progress side of things, they want me to attend a 6 week, CBT(cognative behavioural therapy) and DBT(dialectal behavioural therapy) group therapy. Which starts next week. And once that is finished, they will assess whether there is still a need for one to one therapy.

I’m still suffering from hyper vigilance, hyper arousal, anxiety and panic.

I have been having issues with my not so great trait, of picking at my skin and my arms are really sore, sensitive and inflamed because of this. My poor skin.

The Open Home Foundation lady who works with us came over yesterday. It seems someone has been telling on me to CYFS(child, youth and family) and not always telling an accurate portrayal of facts. Such as, the time I went to Nelson for a few days to visit my family. Which was totally planned and I kept everyone informed about it. And someone has passed on that I have been to Nelson, but passed it on insinuating I bolted to Nelson, without informing anyone or without planning. Which is so the opposite to the truth. Someone has also told on me, about last month, when I actually tried to bolt to Nelson, with my youngest daughter. That I acknowledged as true, as it was. But I informed the Open Home Foundation lady, that the facts were very wrong about when I visited Nelson in December.

So, she has talked to my fiance’s family and they have responded, with what I see, as excuse after excuse. His sister saying, she has her own life and a teenage son at home now and money issues. Which I am fine with, as she has kept us informed and helped when she could. His Mum’s excuses were petrol(which didn’t need to be an issue, as we could drop the kids there and pick them up), apparent sickness and a claim that I don’t like her, as well as a few other excuses. To me, it’s just excuses. As I don’t see why she would say I don’t get along with her, when I actually talk openly with her and tell her if I’m not doing so well. But gee, knowing I am having such a hard time, I would think that would encourage more support, not less. I think that my fiance’s parents just take things out of context. So, for example, if I’m being particularly quiet and anti-social, they take that to mean I don’t like them or don’t want them there. When in fact, it’s because I am not coping well, am severely depressed and feeling quite anxious.

All these recent facts, as well as feeling distressed, stressed, worried about my relationship and feeling unsupported and unwell mentally, is contributing to my mental health getting worse. And is making me miss my family even more.

It’s really hard to stay strong all of the time. I have put on a brave face, tried my best to hold it together, tried so hard to stay strong. But there is only so much I can handle without the support I need and no therapy at all. So it’s not all that surprising I get to a point eventually where I’m just broken.

My fiance insinuated about 10 minutes ago, that I’m selfish, because I wanted to finish writing in here, instead of making tea. I responded by saying “man, I just can’t do anything right. No matter what I say or do, I’m always apparently in the wrong”. Fact is, he can make tea and I do all the housework and he, unlike me, has had a huge nap today during the day, whereas I haven’t.

Anyway, that’s all I have to write for today. So yeah, that’s where I am at and thank you for reading ūüôā

So, I’ve just finished reading a booklet on Panic. It was very interesting and insightful and has given me a lot to think about.

If I can start to apply some of the strategies, that would be beneficial.

It pretty much explained quite well why we Panic and what causes Panic Attacks. It’s like the acronym for FEAR.

F- False
E- Expectations
A- Appearing
R- Real

If that makes sense. So what is happening with panic is, it’s like we have an alarm and alarms are generally good, but it’s like we have a somewhat faulty or over-sensitive alarm. Think of a smoke alarm, that goes off from the slightest smoke or a car alarm, that goes off due to the wind or a house alarm being set off by the cat.

None of these things are a threat, but these alarms are perceiving them as threats. It’s a bit like that with our anxiety and panic. We’ve got a faulty/over-sensitive alarm system. Where we perceive threats which aren’t really there. Which can be due to many things, like stress, some medical conditions, trauma, or unresolved issues.

Our panic attacks can come about either out of the blue or as a response to the above factors.

So, what we have to do is learn/practice strategies to lessen our anxiety or panic and gradually, our mind and body will come to understand over time, there is no threat.

We have to teach ourselves/prove to ourselves that nothing bad is going to happen or does ever happen as a result. That is where, out fear, anxiety and panic come from. Us perceiving there is a threat to our lives or safety or that of those around us.

The reason for our panicked state is a natural reaction to perceived threat. Fear is there to protect us and gear our bodies to ‘fight or flight’. It’s just with those of us with anxiety and panic attacks, we are on high alert much of the time and our body is geared to respond appropriately to the perceived threat. Which for us, is generally not a threat at all. No wonder we get fatigued as a result of anxiety and/or panic. As our body is working over time!

The booklet outlined a few techniques. Such as: breathing, distraction, challenging/questioning your fearful thoughts and proving to yourself or reminding yourself of the fact that nothing bad ever happened as a result of your panic. Such as, you are still here, still alive, still standing and you didn’t faint, choke or have a heart attack, which are a few things you might fear happening as a result of your panicked state.

Anyway, today I went to Compass Health in town for an assessment. It was 1 hour long. Had a really long, thorough chat to the lady there. She asked lots of in-depth and thorough questions, which was good. Explained a few things about anxiety and how it drains us quite a lot. And did a K10 assessment(well I think that’s what it’s called anyway) and the results were: mild to moderate depression and moderate to severe anxiety. Not all that surprising. But thing is, I do actually feel good after having that appointment and reading the booklet on Panic. Has cleared and explained a few things to me.

So, I’m back on antidepressants. I was put on Escitalopram(loxalate) 10mgs. I was given anti-nausea tablets to counteract the nausea. Though in saying that, though the nausea is less, it’s still quite severe. I have been struggling with trying not to throw up each morning. These antidepressants are making me feel somewhat like a Zombie. They seem to be very sedative. And I have now learnt the difference between fatigue and sedate. Fatigue I can handle and I almost in comparison to feeling sedate, say fatigue seems like energetic to me, compared to my current state.

So I have gone from being anxious and depressed and fatigued. To feeling sedated, depressed at feeling sedated, still anxious, horrible nausea and my sleep is terrible! I have gone from sleeping through the night before I started on them, to now waking up to 6 times during the night and morning. And I just feel tired ALL DAY! As in, even if I nap, I still feel tired and I can barely even nap. I feel like resting or sitting or laying down all the time and I can’t get a good sleep at all!

I was curious as to why I stopped taking Escitalopram the last time. So I read my initial blog posts from when I started blogging. And it seems, even after 3 months of being on this one, the side effects were still a big issue and didn’t go away at all. As generally, they are supposed to last 2-3 weeks. Not 3+ months. So I am now thinking, though Venlafaxine(Effexor) made me nauseous and fatigued, they have nothing on these crappy side effects I am currently experiencing.

The reason I wanted to get back on to antidepressants is due to the severe anxiety I have with driving and motorways and heavy traffic. As I need to go up to Otaki to see my older daughter Sophie, who is up there at camp. And my fear or driving all that way was making me highly anxious and panicky. So I thought, right, get back on antidepressants and I should be sorted to calmly drive up there. But now, I am so sedated most of the day, I do not even feel safe driving on the motorway for any longer then 10 minutes. As I feel not quite with it and my reactions are slowed. Therefore, I have decided, at least for the short term, to stop taking them. As I can not be a danger on the road, to myself or anyone else and I need to be able to focus and be alert, to drive for nearly 2 hours up there and then back.

My doctor and the lady from Compass Health, have both put a recommendation through for me to be assessed by a Psychiatrist, so I can find a better antidepressant for me. And they have both recommended seeing a Counsellor or Psychologist who deals in CBT(Cognative Behaviour Therapy) and DBT(Dialectical Behaviour Therapy). Which are both proven to be great techniques for people suffering with Anxiety Disorders.

Feeling good about that plan. As I have a lot of respect for CBT based therapy.

On the subject of all these things. I felt very good about one of my answers on that K10 assessment. Which was to the questions: “how often do you feel worthless?” and I responded “not at all”. So that makes it clear to me, a lot of my issues are just my brain and the way it’s wired. As it’s clearly not my attitude or self talk or any kind of negative self image.

I was also quite happy to hear from the lady who assessed me, that she feels I am very self-aware and quite good at picking up on my warning signs, regarding my mental health. Yay me ūüėÄ

I was thinking on something else today. I was thinking, I am probably lacking the spiritual parts of me being nourished. As I’ve not been to church for a while.

I just get put off, when it’s about subjects I am not exactly obeying and then I feel guilty, as I don’t plan to obey them and therefore I stay away from church.

Anyway, that’s all from me.

So, I went to the counsellor for the first time last week. ¬†It was good. ¬†Though I felt quite anxious, being all attention was directed at me. ¬†Which of course is a good thing, as it is about ME after all. ¬†I’m just not used to being the centre of attention, so I tend to feel a bit weird at first. ¬†I felt quite anxious walking to appointment. ¬†Not because of where I was going, just because it’s Wellington CBD and a very busy area and lots of well-dressed career people and I just felt self-conscious walking down there with my depressed look.

My counsellor I used to work with about 4 yrs ago.  So it was good I was able to get him again.  He does some CBT(cognative behavioural therapy) and TA(transactional analysis), which are both very good methods.  It was reassuring to be told the way I feel in many areas, is very common and normal.

I wish my appointment with MMH(maternal mental health) lady went better. ¬†I kind of feel like she gets annoyed or frustrated with me. ¬†Like she thinks a lot of my depression is my doing, due to not taking action and my attitude. ¬†I feel like she talks over me sometimes, to stop me from moaning or going on. ¬†And she’s yet another person telling me I should look at going back to work. ¬†I am very happy being a stay at ¬†home mum. ¬†I just wish certain people in my life could just accept that and be ok with that, as I am ok with it. ¬†MMH lady even appeared to be giving me shit for playing Sims 3. ¬†Suggesting it is rather addictive and it needs to be played at appropriate times, like when the kids are in bed and such. ¬†I was like, that is exactly when I play it. ¬†I don’t even bother trying to play it when my girls are up, as it just isn’t practical. ¬†MMH lady says I seem to blame everyone but myself for my problems and depression. ¬†Which I don’t! ¬†What is true, is I am very affected by others people’s opinions, approval, who are important to me. ¬†And I do give other people too much power in my life. ¬†But I don’t blame them for my depression! ¬†Anyway, sometimes the visits with MMH lady just don’t go well. ¬†I have been pissed off after the visits at least a couple of times.

Gosh, when will they ever make an anti-depressant that doesn’t make me majorly nauseous! ¬†I hate feel so nauseous so much of the day!

So I have been doing things to help myself.  I have managed to organize a coffee group for tomorrow, I have a counsellor, I join social groups, I exercise and I try get out of the house much more.

Some days lately I have actually been waking up happy and feeling happy more often. ¬†Though I still tend to have a good portion of down feeling time. ¬†Just not so much fun feeling low. ¬†Had a nice swim yesterday. ¬†Very refreshing. ¬†Oh I’ve been enjoying doing baking a couple of times last week. ¬†Gives a sense of achievement and pride when the baking turns out and others enjoy it. ¬†Though I must confess, I ate a fair few of the 12 muffins I baked on the weekend…maybe half ¬†:-0

I’m quite sure I came on here to post something specific, but I’m lost as to what it was. ¬†Silly wandering mind! ¬†Still sitting here in silence wondering what it was! ¬†Grr! ¬†Hate it when that happens!

I am planning on working on not caring so much what others think and letting others affect me so much.

Oh, I have been having this weird thing happening. ¬†I’m not sure if it is a side effect of my anti-depressants or not. ¬†I am assuming it is. ¬†I am often sitting still or lying down and I feel like there’s an earthquake and like what I’m sitting/lying on is shaking. ¬†Very weird! ¬†And sometimes I am just sitting quietly and I feel quite spaced out.

I find watching comedies quite good for me.  They do say laughter is the best medicine after all.

Right well that is all I have to share for now. ¬†Maybe one day I’ll remember the original thoughts I came on to share…I hope.