I hope you had a good start into 2021. NYE was quiet here, and the furbabies enjoyed that there were less fireworks.
Right now my thoughts are constantly jumping from past to present to future and vice versa. Mostly I’m just watching, I know this will stop and I will finally arrive in the present time again. But sometimes I have to be mindful when the demons from the past rear their ugly heads.
Again and again my thoughts stop at a very bad time twelve years ago. I was really in a dark place back then, I suffered from debilating panic attacks and had the impression no doctor really wanted to help me. My GP told me there was nothing he could do for me. The first neurologist/psychiatrist handed me a prescription, told me just to get back to work and forbade me to go to the outpatient clinic at the local hospital. I called him several times, I was really desperate, the med made me feel even worse and I had definitely reached my breaking point. He didn’t budge, I felt misunderstood and left alone for weeks.
Finally I did what he had told me not to do and went to the outpatient clinic at the local hospital. More than once. But eventually I was put on the waiting list for inpatient treatment, and I was put on sick leave until then. That was a big relief, even if it didn’t help with the panic attacks per se.
My boss started pressuring me about when I would come back to work. I told him that I couldn’t answer that question, because I was still waiting for my treatment in the hospital. He didn’t accept that and kept asking.
Looking back the worst was the feeling of forlornness. The doctor, who stuck to his routine. The boss who wouldn’t stop calling me and only cared about work, but not about me. When I needed understanding and protectetion the most, my doctor and my boss didn’t seem to care. These weeks were hard.
I found my way out. I limited communication to my employer as much as I could, I found doctors who helped me. I learned to stand up for myself when I was at my worst.
I try to figure out why I am thinking about this so often now. Maybe it’s about making another step forwards on my journey and leave the past behind again.
It’s good to be home, and I hope it stays that way. But of course many things that happened during my inpatient treatment are still fresh on my mind.
A very important part of the therapy took place in groups – twice a week in small group for ninety minutes each, once a week all patients came together to talk for an hour.
It was interesting that the patients were at different levels on their way to recovery. Those who just started therapy were often at a loss, the old life didn’t work anymore, the new life was still out of reach. But other patients were already better and showed the new patients that a change for the better was possible, and that work will pay off.
Best case scenario: The group works together, so everyone is motivated and tries to support those who struggle. Of course not every session is a success. But a close group can deal with that as well.
Of course there also were difficult situations. And my bad hearing often complicated things further. But we got through this together. I miss this sometimes, now that I have to spend a big part of my time alone. But everything I learned became a part of my personality and will hopefully stay with me forever.
…either they want to go home, or they want to stay in the hospital!” the senior physician told us during my last inpatient stay. I belong to the first group, but I still have to fully settle in at home.
During my inpatient stay, others did most of the chores for me, my meds were organized for me, and therapy was close by.
At home I have to take care of chores and meds myself, and I am responsible for getting to my therapy sessions in time. This is not always easy, even though I am motivated. Two years ago, I came home from inpatient therapy and fell into the next depressive episode straight away. I am trying not to let that happen again, and I know things will get easier after a short time.
It felt good to join group OT again. I am also trying to get a place in a therapy group, because my therapist on the ward and I agreed that would be the best way of aftercare. But I am optimistic everything will turn out alright.
… we are supposed to take a walk before breakfast. I don’t always feel like it, but it’s a good way to start the day.
Between breakfast and the first therapy of the day I usually get my daily rTMS treatment. So far I have had seven, a complete cycle consists of 15 or better 20 treatments.
The art therapist thinks she can help me, so I joined the sculpture group and I have single art therapy as well. My days are full, in the evening I am often so tired that there’s no energy left for blogging.
Right now a lot is going on in my head, but this is to be expected and will hopefully stop as therapy continues. Until then I try to keep up reading your blogs at least.
Changing meds is always hard for a few weeks. Feelings are changing quickly, and I feel either agitated or very tired. But I knew this would happen, and so I just try to get from one therapy to the next.
My roommate and the other patients are very nice, and I know the staff from previous stays. My roommate often goes home for the night, so I have a single room lots of the time.
I went home for the weekend. Going back to the hospital Sunday afternoon was hard, but is was the best thing to do.
Thursday I will meet the head physician, and we will discuss how the dosis of the new med will be increased. And I want to spend the next weekend at home as well.
When I had checked in at the hospital on Friday I was told my bed was needed for an emergency. I was given the choice to go home until Thursday or stay on another ward until then. I chose the latter. The medical exams are completed now, and we started changing the medication. Of course there are the usual side effects, a confused brain and going through every emotion and back. But I can deal with this, and I know it will pass. But I really hope I can change wards on Thursday and start treatment in earnest…
Yesterday I went to the psychiatric institutional outpatient’s department again to talk them out of admitting me for my med cange. But the colleague of my psychiatrist also recommended a inpatient stay. Well, then this is how it should be handled, I think. On a positive note, they were able to offer me a quick admission date, so treatment will start on Friday.
I am thinking about one thing the doctor said: “You always wait so long before you do something!”
Well, that’s right. For the last weeks I have been watching my energy disappear, finding thousands of excuses instead of looking for help. Typical me.
I am still somehow shocked. At the same time I am preparing everything. I will follow your blogs as I can, we will see how often I will be able to post something. The first weekend I have to stay on the ward, after that I will go home from Saturday to Sunday at least.
This is my opinion on my last quaterly meeting with my psychiatrist.
During my last inpatient stay I started taking a tricyclic anti depressant.
First: Things could be better. I have difficulties going to sleep, have to take another medication for that and am tired in the morning. Second: I gained a lot of weight and am pre diabetic now. That has to stop.
My psychiatrist recommends another inpatient stay to switch anti depressants, she thinks that would be better. I wasn’t too happy about this. There are nicer places than a psychiatric ward.
The more I think about it, the less I like this idea. If I continue to feel bad about it, I will talk again to my doctor. In the past I often changed meds safely at home. On he other hand I feel like the psychiatrist puts my well-being first, and this is a good thing.
Spring always is the anniversary of my psychiatric inpatient treatments. Mostly my mood got worse during winter, so many of my inpatient admissions happend in spring.
This spring means, my first inpatient treatment in child and adolescent psyciatry was 31 years ago, and my first inpatient stay as an adult happened 10 years ago.
What upsets me most today is the fact, that I was always told I would be fine again. Of course I believed this and worked hard. And I always was better for a few months, but then things always took a turn for the worse again.
Yesterday my OT therapist said, there must be people who found a way out of depression even after such a long time. She meant well, but I want to be realistic. I don’t expect to be cured from depression anymore. I just want to live my life as it is, the good and the bad times and all.
Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up, but other people often think it is. For me acceptance means to live according to my possibilities, and to stay on the golden middle course most of the time.
On the other hand, these anniversaries are a reason to give myself a pat on the shoulder, because I am still alive and kicking. This coin has two sides, as always.
Thursday Morning it was time for me to say goodbye, and fellow patients and nurses sent me home with heartfelt hugs and lots of well wishes.
Next stop was the outpatient clinic of my local hospital, because I needed a prescription for my new antidepressant. This took a few hours. Went to the pharmacy and grocery shopping, and then finally got on the bus that would bring me home.
When I opened the door, the dogs greeted me – good thing I came prepared and had brought treats. Then the cat joined us and demanded I let her out. When I opened the door for her, I noticed the yellow leaves on the ground and was confused for a moment. My brain had to process that I left for the hospital in summer, and now fall was here.
Putting my things back in the bathroom felt strange as well.
My husband came home very stressed, because his car had two flat tires. The mood got better after a good meal.
When evening came, I was absolutely done. So many feelings were swirling around in my head, I almost couldn’t deal with it. I was told this could happen. I also was told it was best to just let this pass, without fighting or holding onto these feelings. A few tears were she’d, but the storm passed.
I still haven’t realized I am home for good, but I think this will just take a few days. I don’t withdraw, I get things done, but I am not at 100 percent yet. But I don’t worry too much about this. My head still is wonderfully quiet, calm without being drowsy, alert without being panicky. I couldn’t ask for more at the moment.