Back in November I took the decision to close all of my social media accounts and blogs and move away from my life online. This was as a result of a very traumatic experience on Facebook and one of my blogs which left me in hospital fighting for my life.
After taking almost six months offline I’ve reached a point where I feel there are things I miss about being online. The community of support I had built, especially with others who experience mental health issues, being a primary reason. A few weeks ago I deactivated my Google account and set up a new Twitter account. I have been cautiously putting my toe back in the water, finding new connections, afraid to reconnect with those people I used to speak to before the events of October and November.
So far things have gone reasonably well, my break from social media, and especially working with social media has ensured that I have learned how to live without a reliance on the medium. During my time off I reconnected with pen and paper. Writing in a journal, writing letters and postcards to the few friends who continued to remain in my life after I deserted Facebook and finding that my phone doesnt need to be attached to me quite as firmly as it has been in the past.
One of the hardest things though has been when my mental health gets tough. I believe in sharing success and asking for help and advice from others when it gets difficult. My blog was a great place for this but not having it meant I was very alone with nobody to talk to who truly understood my situation. Just family who try really hard but don’t necessarily understand what I’m talking about.
This weekend has been one of those times, and so I created this blog, deciding to venture back into the blogging community. I don’t intend this to necessarily be just a mental health blog, but I will discuss mental health issues, and sometimes it will probably be a lot!
Last year was a tough year for me, whilst several psychiatrists have said they are sure I have bipolar disorder, none of them have confirmed this or put me on appropriate medications as they have never seen me when I’ve been in a state of hypomania, which makes sense. I suffer much more with depression anyway…at least in my own head I do.
Last year I suffered a huge drop into a major depression, lost my business to bankruptcy, lost my home, and many friends who just reached their limit of my illness. And all this before the incident online I referred to above which pushed me to try and take my life for the fifth time last year alone.
During this period I was referred to a new psychiatrist who helped me through the period, got me into CBT, and wrote to my GP telling her that she was sure that I had bipolar and wanted to see me while I was in a state of hypomania next time I got there so that this could be confirmed and appropriate long term care arranged
Fast-forward to the past month or so and I’m happy as larry. Family start warning me to slow down, take it easy, Husband is begging me not to spend more money and with a huge clang the penny drops, I’m not happy I’m there. Gradually my family helped me form a list of what I’ve been doing so that I can see myself more objectively. Like I say, I feel happy, I had no idea I had been doing half the things I had.
I’ve been to my GP three times now and each time she refuses to refer me back to my psychiatrist. Talk about being right back at square one. Her excuse is I don’t seem manic. Frustration ensues. I know I’m not manic, I understand the difference between hypomania and mania…why can’t a GP?
Then on Friday, Good Friday, I had an anxiety attack while I was at the gym. It was far too busy and I couldn’t cope with the number of people who were there. I went for a walk in the woods after to try and clear my head and thought I had succeeded in caming things down.
But that evening the voices started. Voices telling me to hurt myself, to hurt my husband, to run away. Voices so loud, so real that I turn around and expect to see people stood next to me, but there is nobody there. These voices are still haunting me now, days later.
Because I have no medication to deal with anything but depression and anxiety I have nothing but myself to deal with these. I have been living hell on earth the past few days, I’ve not had an experience this bad before, in fact previous experiences have been so insignificant my psychiatrist very much shrugged them off as nothing to worry about.
I’ve had our 24hr Crisis Line to call, with mental health nurses available to talk to but all they have been able to do is give me advice on how to manage my day. They feel I need a psychiatric assessment and medication review but they have no doctors available until Tuesday. What?!
Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with NHS Mental Health services? Would any other urgent care service within the NHS be left without an on-call Doctor over the weekend?
I fear part of my problem is I can string a sentence together and I can relay how I feel. Sometimes I think I should just scream down the phone incoherantly and then maybe I would be taken more seriously. But why should being able to express what is happening to me be reason to just ignore it?
Right now though I feel as if I am in a cold dark cave with hateful people hiding in the crevices yelling horrible things at me, I’m just trying everything I can think of not to act on those thoughts/voices.