Tag Archive: dialectual behaviour therapy


Yes, my title does have undertones of sarcasm in it, if you were wondering.

So it has been 9 days since my last significant post. Apart from the one earlier today about Postpartum Anxiety.

A few things have been happening since 9 days ago. The Gateway Assessment for my 2 younger kids was mostly ok. Though they 2 people doing the assessment did mention that they felt my 4 year old may be delayed. Not significantly, but still, she is not where she is expected to be in certain areas. They would like to do a baseline assessment on her. Which is around hearing and eye sight.

Last weekend, my fiance tried to make me feel stupid at the supermarket, due to something that was actually not my fault, it was the checkout operators mistake. And my 4 year old was being difficult, as while I’d been out that day, my fiance had let her play on the PS3(playstation 3) the whole time. And once we all got out of the house, she was all hypo and misbehaving. We were trying to leave the mall, but she wouldn’t get off the electronic rides there. My fiance decided to walk off and be of no help, leaving me there to deal with her. And due to the fact I have been experiencing a lot of stresses in my life lately and I was experiencing PMS, I could only handle so much stress, before I ended up just sitting on a seat having a quiet cry. This made me feel really unsupported, him leaving me there to deal with my 4 year old. And then my insensitive and overreacting fiance said “well you’re clearly not coping if you have a breakdown at the mall”. Hmm, I would hardly call having a little cry, because I felt stressed and unsupported, not coping. I would call that, being hormonal, having a lot of stresses in life and having emotions. I mean I had dealt pretty well with it all I felt. As, after my fiance embarrassed me at the supermarket and was being a bit of a dick to me, I did feel like kicking a few things out of frustration. But decided that wouldn’t be a good idea, as it would draw negative attention to me, would scare my child and might result in getting in trouble with the mall security. Not to mention, it’s kind of acting like a child and having a public tantrum.

Then as we were driving home, I said to my fiance, that I felt it was his fault that she was behaving that way and said to him, has he not learned from this whole situation of having involvement with CYFS(child, youth & family). As we are supposed to take on-board their observations and concerns and change our behaviour and parenting as a result. As that is something I have whole heartedly done. I have taken away exactly what I was supposed to from this experience and become a better and more involved parent as a result. And he responded by yelling at me and saying “I’m the only one here supporting you! And you repay me by insulting me!” and then punched the dashboard a few times. Which I, with having violent relationships in the past, felt very intimidated and scared by.

Eventually once he calmed down he talked to me. And he told me something interesting about his parents and why they appear to not like me so much. He said it’s because I am opinionated, confident and intelligent and they prefer people who are push overs, who they can control and who don’t challenge their ideas. As they think they know it all and are always right.

Regarding our intention to move to Nelson at some point. I do get annoyed with the fact that his parents always talk like they expect we will leave here long term. Which is not the reality. But my fiance doesn’t do much to tell them otherwise. And I find many people involved with us, think it’s all my idea, not a joint decision. When in fact it is a joint decision. But my fiance doesn’t tend to speak up much, which doesn’t help.

The latest stress I have had is receiving several letters from IRD(inland revenue department) saying I am expected to pay child support for my oldest daughter and they have already given me a bill for this month and are expecting me to pay $73 a month. Which I found a real slap in the face. As my oldest daughter not living with me is a temporary thing, not a permanent thing and I already feel punished enough in so many other ways, for becoming so unwell with my mental health last August. And, not to mention the fact I have brought her up for the past 10 years and we are struggling so much financially, that it is impossible to contribute anything. I feel they should be seeking child support from her father. As he doesn’t have my expenses and 2 young kids at home. And neither my fiance or myself are working. So I have sent a Notice of objection to the IRD regarding that.

I am also finding it hard, that she spends more of her weekends with her Dad’s parents or her Dad, then she does with me. As I am supposed to see her weekly and that is not often happening. And it has a bigger effect on my family, not seeing her very often. Especially with regards to her younger sister.

So, we managed to have sorted things a little to improve our financial situation. I have finally convinced my fiance to change internet and phone provider. Though it took our phone being disconnected for him to agree. And we now have a debt of nearly $500 to Telecom. We found out the company who my fiance has the loan with, has a clause for financial hardship, so we applied for that help and were approved mid this week. So that means no payments needed for a couple of months.

We went to WINZ(work and income) to apply for help with the Telecom bill, but they will only pay the phone portion of it and we applied for assistance for buying a car seat and they declined that too.

The frustrating thing is, it all gets left up to me organizing the majority of this stuff. And relationships involve 2 people, so I get annoyed at how much of this is put on me.

The FGC(family group conference) review is in a few days. On Monday 31st March. So the CYFS social worker came over yesterday afternoon to discuss the upcoming review with us. I think she got a bit of a shock from all that I had to say. And was stuck at times for an appropriate answer to my many questions. I made her explain all their concerns and expressed that I felt frustrated that so little of the focus is on how I can get back to having more of the day to day care of my children and how the younger 2 being in childcare makes it extremely difficult to prove my capabilities and the lack of visits to observe me with my child, by them, makes it hard for them to see how I have improved and how capable I am. Eventually she softened her approach and agreed that I can have more opportunities to be with my younger 2 unsupervised. I also brought up, that it doesn’t help, me not being able to actually do things with my baby by myself and that we as Mother and Son, miss out on a lot of opportunities due to these restrictions put on me by CYFS. I also talked to her about how I felt the original FGC did not go by the exact protocol that it is supposed to and that I am quite sure there were some breaches of how FGC’s are supposed to be run, on that occasion. She had some trouble explaining her way out of that one. My approach and attitude and confidence has changed a lot from the original FGC, which likely came as a shock to her. As when the original FGC happened, I was still struggling and felt quite defeated and wasn’t as prepared as I would like to have been. Plus, I do agree, it was the right decision at that time the plan that was formulated. I just felt quite disrespected in the fact that CYFS still seemed to view me as too mentally unwell, even after the fact and all my improvements. And it really sucks how hard it is to get your role back due to all of this process. I said to her, it is actually a trauma in itself, my role been taken so significantly and that it has not helped the bonding process with my baby, how much of my role was taken away. I felt, I could have had started developing my bond with him sooner, if part of the original FGC plan, had something in there to support this and some tasks for me that helped me regain my bond with him. Rather then the only task being “get therapy when offered”.

I had week 5, or the 6 weeks of DBT Resiliency ‘Distress Tolerance’ course, this Wednesday. Next week will be the last one. I shared some pretty personal stuff about what I go through when I am quite distressed, which wasn’t easy, but at least I was real about it and myself. I talked about a distressing situation and having feelings of rage and wanting to self-harm. As the subject for the homework was to give examples of pro’s and con’s to either not tolerating or tolerating distress in a situation. So my view was, not tolerating the distress, would have meant the consequences could have been, me self-harming and therefore having a scar to remind me, acting on the feelings of rage, would have meant, potentially getting in trouble with the law, drawing negative attention to myself, scaring my children and those are definite con’s. And there are of course no pro’s to not tolerating distress, nor are there any con’s to tolerating distress. The pro’s of tolerating distress were, not harming myself, therefore not having a scar to remind me, not scaring my children or getting in trouble with the law. The last week is on ‘Radical Acceptance’. Which I already practice. All these tools are drawn from DBT(dialectal behaviour therapy).

The quetiapine has been helping with sleep, so that’s good.

I’m pretty sure that all I wanted to post about today. Thanks for reading.

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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 🙂

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 😀

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.