Monday, 8 November 2010

Don't make a mole out of a hole...

... As a nursing collegue quoted earlier.

I'm on placement now, its an team which works within the early intervention in psychosis model. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, or was, until this weekend.

My mental health seems to be taking a bit of a kicking, not helped by the fact that one of my previous consultants works within the team. I'm unsure whether he has recognised me or not, and am unsure whether to speak to him about it.
I was having some issues with racing/intrusive thoughts earlier today, and over the weekend, which lead to an arguement with my other half. We have sorted things out now, it was silly really, but I am extremely sensitive to criticism at the moment due to the critical, even abusive thoughts in my head.
I often wonder, given my borderline-psychotic presentation two years ago, whether my brain is gearing up for me starting to hear voices. I don't hear voices currently, however my intrusive, self-abusing thoughts have increased with each episode and I have little control over them. I am able to combat them with CBT-based techniques, however this can be very consuming, to the point that I can't engage in a conversation as if I break my concentration on them they may win.

This is probably just me bing over-vigilant given my placement area, but it does concern me.

I'm also considering having future counselling/psychotherapy of some sort, as I have something lurking on the borders of my sub-concious which I was loathe to bring up in my previous sessions. Essentially, I think that the bullying I endured during primary school may have culminated in sexual as well as physical abuse. I have a disturbing image of being held down, and then feeling dirty and ashamed. Knowing it was wrong but not knowing what it was. I am not sure if these are false memories, my mind playing tricks or an overactive imagination. However I think it may be something I need to address in future.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Disappointment. If you don't get your hopes up, you may learn to avoid it.
Remember - not matter how much planning you do, it can and will go wrong.

I arranged my final placement a year ago. I persuaded the placement area to take students. I put my personal tutor and head of department in touch with the manager. I was told an audit would be carried out, and that it was all ok.

My tutor has just left. The placement-organiser was never informed.
They've given the placement to someone else.
They won't reconsider.

I am very disappointed.
Actually, I want to break stuff.

Please excuse me.
My boyfriend has put socks on his ears, and looks like a spaniel. Apparently, this is an apology and attempt to cheer me up, as he shouted at me that I was letting people walk all over me.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Urgh. Really can't afford to get sick right now.

Feeling pretty awful, sore throat, headache etc. Fingers crossed it's just a shortlived thing, but unfortunately it feels like it's getting worse... I really don't need any time off sick at the moment. It is the worst thing about being a student - making up any sick leave.

Ug. I had planned to write more today, but I think I'm just going to go to bed.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Is this a common experience for nursing students?

Do the majority of consultants and junior doctors you meet encourage you to study medicine?

Basically, at least six doctors have now seriously encouraged me to do the Graduate Entry Programme to medicine. At first, I thought nothing of it. Now, I'm starting to question whether, actually, I could be capable of it.

I want to go further than just the BSc Unclassified, most people reading this will know I was bitterly disappointed to not do the Honours degree. But, being a doctor? A Doctor? A Dr.? Little me?

Has anyone else encountered this? Has anyone else done it?

Monday, 12 July 2010

Feeling a bit brighter

Think two days off helped, although I now have VERY painful sunburn on my legs. I decided, as I'd burned the backs, I'd have to burn the fronts of my legs as well. Regretting it, can't believe I chose to get burnt. I don't recommend it. Next time I'll experiment with some fake tan instead... Ha. I'm usually so pale it's unreal, and now I'm pink instead :s

Unsure what to do about the horses... I'm going riding tomorrow after work so I'll see how things go then.

Work was a little better, but the individual who has been giving me some hassle is definately targetting me... Not sure if this is some kind of delusional thinking in the mania or just that I'm easy to intimidate? Maybe in his situation, feeling powerless, the only way to assert some power is over me?

Working on a male ward has been quite challenging - generally, I find male aggression difficult to handle. I'm getting more used to it, but I am the sort of person who flinches. I'm not sure if I've written about this much previously, but my Mum dated a guy after my parents split up who turned out to be an ex-alcoholic. He was lovely, until one night he started drinking. I was about 5 years old, and it was terrifying. I remember the aggression, and being so sure that my Mum would run, and I wouldn't be able to keep up. I wouldn't have blamed her for running.
Him grabbing her by the hair in the street, as she tried to walk away. Me clinging to her coat, being knocked over into the gutter as he swung her around, grazing my knee on the kerb. I think the fact that he had been so nice when sober made it harder, it was a betrayal of trust as well as an incident of aggression.

I think that is probably why I flinch.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


I'm 4 weeks into an 8 week placement.
It was going well, but I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself.
I'm struggling with some of the recent admissions, mainly an individual who is very sexually disinhibited and another who is quite confrontational, and has spent all of this afternoon being very intimidating towards me.
I know they are unwell, but I am struggling as my mood has dipped.

Also, it appears that my share-horses owner no longer wants me - she has found two new younger sharers, one for each horse, and I feel increasingly unwanted.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

A Review of Me, Myself and Blogging

Do you think the people at My Therapy are going to be celebrating their success this weekend? "Look at all the people who have signed up - our online diagnostic tool is BRILLLIIIAAAANNNNNNTTTTTTT!"

Such a shame.

I think tools like this are good for two things -
a. A bit of a laugh
b. Double-checking that yes, you are still a MENTAL.

So... I took their survey, and according to my, possibly unrealiable answers, have been diagnosed with;

- Bipolar II (Depressive)
I was diagnosed during my one-before-last episode as having "severe recurrent depression on the Bipolar spectrum", so this sort-of-fits.

- Schizophreniform Disorder
This was based on my rather unusual ideas during episodes of high and low mood, and around food. I'm also a bit paranoid in social situations, but I think that is more to do with low self-esteem. I have been monitored for "emerging psychotic symptoms", but think I can safely say this isn't a correct diagnosis.

- Agoraphobia without History of Panic Disorder
I think this because I don't go out when I am depressed. Which I think is a pretty common experience. So, incorrect, again.

Overall, not too inaccurate, considering it is a computer. It might be on par with one Consultant I had the misfortune to be allocated too!

In other news, I'm questioning whether to continue blogging. It served a purpose during my last-but-one severe episode of depression, but I spend much more time readng blogs than I do writing mine. I'm not sure yet, but I am considering a hiatus.

I've also got a new hobby, or rather, revived an old one.
I've started part-loaning a pony, a couple of days a week. He is lovely, safe and has already started increasing my confidence greatly. It is also another reason to say "NO" to the eating disordered thoughts, as well as any suicidal ones.

I'm going to try and blog more often over the next few weeks, and then decide whether it is helpful or useful for me now. I can't promise anything, as I'm tied up with two essays which are progressing extremely slowly. I keep trying to write something, anything, but being unable to string together a sentence.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Shameless Plug - Check out my Mum's handywork...

Please, please - check out her site, pass it on to friends and family, and help put a smile back on my Mum's face!

Saturday, 29 May 2010


I miss smoking. I'm drinking more tea to make up for the lack of fags. Giving up is going well, but I do miss it.
However, Mother can no longer call me "Fag Ash Lil".

I got the Statement of Reasons from the Tribunal.

They have a point - although I satisfied the criteria for the 3 months before making the application, I didn't really satify it for the 6 months afterwards.

My new Connexion worker seems to agree.

I feel like a fraud.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Lungs still hurt.

Have amoxicillin now though.
Collecting smoking cessation prescription on friday.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

My lungs hurt.

I've been coughing for two weeks now. I really need to see my GP. Supposed to be having a blood test done too.

My "support network" is pretty much gone right now. Was glad when I finished having counselling, felt I'd made progress. Now I miss it, maybe even need it.

I have an Intensive Personal Advisor at Connexions, who basically performs the role of care co-ordinator/CPN, as I don't have either of those. She's left to join another team. I get Connexions support until I'm 25 because of the MH issues, but not sure I want to bare my soul to someone else. She'd been working with me for over 2 years, at times she saw me on a daily basis. She attended my DLA tribunal and is keeping in touch until they allocate me a new person.

Essays are going badly - tutor wants to see my introduction on Wednesday, no chance of it being finished by then. Basing the essays on Eating Disorders was probably a poor choice - I'm a bit over-involved in that area.

Was not impressed that I couldn't use the gym today - my scheme only has one weekend session and that is Sunday evening. Itching to go. Keep not eating all day, then eating junk in the evening.

On a better note, piggies are using new ramps.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Guinness, Paddi and Shammi

... Are all refusing to use the ramps in their new cage.
I blew my last £50 on it, and they hate it.



Friday, 16 April 2010

DLA Tribunal

I had my Tribunal yesterday, for Disability Living Allowance.

The brief back story is that following November 2008, my Connexions PA said we should definitely put in an application for DLA. We got the forms, and began the process of filling them out in late February 2009, once I was well enough to complete them. They were sent in early March 2009.

I was declined for both Care and Mobility in May. My Psychiatrist's junior doctor had filled in form, which I felt was contradictory. It stated that I had no history of self-harm or self-neglect. Connexions PA and myself sent a letter contending this, I appealed, and it was looked at and declined again.

Tribunal was originally booked for November 2009 (I think). I wasn't too well, but made the effort to go. We were just leaving when they phoned and informed us that my GP's notes had failed to arrive, so it was postponed.

My GP notes were re-requested. I ended up collecting them myself on Tuesday, and Connexions PA faxed them to the Tribunal service, as they kept forgetting to do them.

So, the Tribunal finally went ahead, and it was horrible.
I had the three people who form the panel. There was another lady who I think was something to do with the decision making service (I was so nervous, I can't remember).

We were in there for over an hour. I'm pretty sure that isn't normal practice. I feel like they enjoyed grilling me. I hate talking about my low periods, when the depression really takes over. I hate admitting that I became paranoid, and had delusions. I hate reading how close I was to being prescribed anti-psychotics or even being hospitalised. I hate realising how unwell I was, describing some of the humiliating things I did. Not bathing for weeks or going out in my pajamas with a coat over the top, because dressing was too much effort.

Afterwards they said they would write to me. They said everyone was getting their decisions in the post that day, because of this lady coming to oversee things. However, whilst I was waiting for my expenses for the train ticket, a woman went in and came out less than five minutes later with her decision.

I knew I wasn't getting anything, and the letter this morning confirmed it. I was only hoping for Lower Rate Care. I feel like a fraud.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

"Why Did You Kill My Dad"

Available on BBC iPlayer.

How shall I put this...?


*Be polite GG*

The programme gave more screentime to a newsagent who described mental illness as being "away with the fairies" than to the experts they had graciously bothered to consult.

The insightful use of short sound clips from these experts was brilliant, especially how they managed to extract these from interviews to make it seem supportive of the point the programme was trying to make.

So remember, Mental Health Professionals

-If a person you have contact with goes on to commit suicide or homocide, feel safe in the knowledge that you didn't do your job properly, that you failed in your responsibilities, and must have handled their case in a careless manner.

- If the family of the deceased phone for information, sod patient confidentiality! Feel free to share all personal details of the service user, whether related to the case or not.

- Forget independant inquiries by suitably appointed experts. The best people to analyse a case and place blame are those most closely affected by the incident. Hey - that's an idea. From now on, all juries should consist of close relatives and friends of any victims. Then we'll get a reliable, informed, unbiased outcome, won't we?

- If the police ask someone prior to a search or arrest if they have sharp implements or anything to declare, its not a standard question. It implies that they are obviously a dangerous person. See, its written on your forehead...

- It's appalling to allow people to be free to commit crimes. If those with mental illness and a history of violence should be denied all freedom, as this programme seems to imply, then shouldn't any person who is convicted of a violent offence be detained for life?

Now, heed my warnings - or "the killings will continue".

Friday, 5 February 2010

Leave me alone.

I don't know how much longer I can do this for. It's eating away at me, and I have no answer for it. No drugs or therapies which I think will work, no suggestions or witty remarks left. I cut myself, pathetic scratches on my arms when I want gaping wounds. I restrain myself, but for what? This is a slippery slope, you make tracks, then slip back, ending up lower than where you started. Maybe this is just life, what everyone experiences, but what I want to know if how do they cope, hold down jobs, keep relationships alive.
I go back to work, fail again, go back to work, fail again.
I want to disappear, maybe I could take a coach, hole up in a B&B for a few weeks until these thoughts settle down.
STOP TELLING ME TO KILL MYSELF. I DON'T WANT TO DIE. I just don't want to live. I don't think I do. I don't know anymore. I'm not hearing voices. I'm just having strong, strong compulaions, suicide is all I can think about, I can't escape it. My entire self is taken up resisting it, and I have no answers to this.

EDIT: I saw my GP this evening. I was advised to take my medication, go to work, and come back in a month. I do take my medication. I'm seriously struggling with work. I don't want to be here in a month.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Off Sick Again

Wednesday was extremely stressful at work. There is a bug going round the ward, and we have some patients in isolation. Running between rooms, taking obs, 5 sets of aprons and gloves, I felt like a hesdless chicken. Delayed train on the way home, finally got in, felt a bit sick, went to bed. Woke up at 4am and spent an hour kneeling in front of the toilet bowl. Havn't actually been sick, but have felt it, and couldn't eat all of yesterday. Had some food today, still feel a bit nauseous. Could just be somatic? Me, attention seeking mental and that jazz.

In better news, have got a letter offering me the Honours degree, and will be accepting. Now, I just need to get into good enouh shape to return to work.

Have lost 7 pounds in the two weeks. Not quite sure how.

Want to lose more, always the same, a little bit slips off and you think how much better you looked at under 100 pounds. Ha. Although you kept fainting and getting ill.

I don't like this placement. New mentor is actually a brilliant nurse though. It's just the general running of the ward, money seems to be extremely tight. Havn't really thought much about the money side of things on the ward before, aside from cab fares and expenses for activities or outings.

I suppose ending up sitting across the table from Grandad's consultant didn't help. I was so tense, felt like if I relaxed I'd end up shaking him by the shoulders, why didn't you help him? Why did he have to die? The only one who understood me, the one I am most like. I see his moods in Little Brother, and pray it's just the start of teenage angst. I'd give anything for him not to have to go through this.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Can we ever truely accept the impact of our illnesses?

So, I went back to work on Wednesday. I worked Thursday. Today I slept through my alarm after a difficult night and I am totally exhausted.
I have had to realise that I was quite unwell when I originally started my placement, and that is hard. Will I ever accept it? Or will I keep battling on and being crushed every time I realise that it does have an impact on my abilities, and no matter how much I try, I have periods where I find it extremely difficult to function.
I am so tired. I feel like a huge failure, because I am unable to cope with what everyone around me seems able to do. 37.5 hours a week, that is all. I am exhausted after two days. I was tired after just 4 hours. I don't feel low as such, just negative, but I think that is because I am watching myself fail all over again. I know this placement is not going to last forever, I just need to do the hours and get it finished, but all I want to do is sleep.
I'm always more tired than my friends and my collegues. I don't know if this is the condition or the medication. I really feel quite hopeless. I just want some energy.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

"Insight" isn't all it's cracked up to be

I'm acutely aware that I am not in a good way right now.
I don't think hospitalisation is appropriate, or that it would be beneficial right now. Maybe in a few days if this continues.

It took my boyfriend a lot of prompting to encourage me to shower. Evntually he had to tell me that I smelt. Bad.

New Years Eve was supposed to be a good night of paced drunkeness. Instead, I got stupidly drunk. I still had a good night, overall, but I know that I was a mess. I climbed into a friend's bed to crash out for an hour or so, and I think I really annoyed his girlfriend. Firt time we meet, get on quite well, then they try to go to bed and I'm in it. Well done moi.

I'm glad that I am able to enjoy some things still, at least some of the time. However these rapid changes in mood are becoming problematic, particually as my main means of coping in social situations is to drink heavily. Actually, the only thing I have soberly enjoyed recently was meeting my baby cousin.

I met my mum at the shops today and I really found that hard. I hate feeling this detached from myself. She said maybe it is the new contraceptive, as she won't really acknowledge my mental health problems, and although I agree that could be a contributing factor it doesn't change the fact I'm struggling.

I can't concentrate on TV, even short programmes. I can't concentrate on reading even a page, although I used to read several books a week. I can't listen to music, as I'm finding it all too fast to take in. Blogging is hard, although can be helpful in short stints. Conversations are increasingly difficult, with me unable to finish half my sentances. I used to be articulate, intelligent, ME.

I want myself back. I don't want this, I never asked for this, I hate this.

Mental illness has turned me from a capable teenager with a bright future, into a young woman who struggles to care for herself and has repeatedly failed at life.

That is how I feel right now.
I have failed at life.

I was headed for fucking Cambridge and now I can't even care for myself.