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Category Archives: Mental Health

Reflections 2020 w08

The problem with long depressive episodes is not caring where everything goes, and if you are sorting out your belongings to either sell or make room for something else at the time of the episode, you tend to place something you cannot find at a later date. Or worse you have cleared it out — for some, now unknown, reason.

It appears I have done this with a notepad I cannot find. Fast running out of places to rearrange once again, in a hope of finding it, a common side effect of coming out of a low dip, is leaving one perplexed. I know I have not thrown or destroyed the notebook, because it has a parker pen connected to it, my blue ink one.

I can only locate my black ink one, this has a different colour clip for identification purposes. The blue one originally had green ink, with really helped with the words not moving around, but had the annoying habit of  clumping ink on a regular basis before depositing  it to be smudged on the second pass of my hand. So I changed it to blue.

The black is just for coursework or form filling.

I like my blue pen, and I dislike the black hole of memories depression leaves.

Which is why I have the notebooks.

Reflections 2020 w05

One is going to try and write this without going into a moan.

Circumstances out of my control this week had me meeting the duty manager at the hospital. I was sent there by my art coordinator because my twitching was at a state she has not seen before. And she thought it best to be seen now to see if the medication, they stopped pre Christmas, could be looked at again.

So I went up, and saw a nurse due to us mental patients turning up like busses, one duty manager – 4 patients.

So I start talking to the two of them, I presume one was a trainee, although it was never mentioned, and they initially concluded that I may need some depression medication, though one would have to wait until my appointment on the 24th of Feb.

This has been the standard treatment so far – medication, medication, medication. With each new med I get a new side effect that makes me ill, coincidence of course. That is not a snarky comment, it is what I am always told – it is just coincidence.

I commented on a few other things and on the fact that the medication does not work. At least work to the end goal of fixing the problem. To which they agreed it was not a long term solution. This I was told right at the beginning, nearly 9 years ago, it was also when I was told medication for depression was only a short term help. Therapy is the answer to working through it.

I may have mentioned this before.

One has also been told my depression is a side effect of another problem, rather like pain from a broken leg, don’t fix the leg – don’t fix the pain.

A common diagnosis from councillors is PTSD, mainly from the lifelong bullying, but topped with a stressor that pushed my mind too far.

This however has always been dismissed by the psychologists who follow the initial diagnosis made from a Neurological psychologist who was looking for physical causes to my problem. Due to the sudden onset of twitching and stammering. Overruling in one half an hour, once a year, a diagnosis made from several hours over a couple of months. But their diagnosis does not matter. Even if it renders why I am with them obsolete.

Counselling has been for the twitch, speech, and voluntary anger management, twice now, mainly to try and alleviate my frustration with the mental health treatment. Even this is now following patterns of some bullying/manipulation methods. ‘There is the door, leave if you want to, we wont stop you..whilst stopping you, controlling you, manipulating your possible actions.’

Treatment for the psychological aspect of the speech and twitch led towards the PTSD diagnosis from a psychologist, but therapy could go no further as it was not linked to the day to day acceptance of the twitch in its physical psychological form. I had accepted there was nothing I could do…Because the doctors told me there was nothing I could do.It will go away in time.

So a recommendation for psychotherapy was made by them, and  then ignored.

So there I was…Physical problem causes mental problem? No, maybe, cant rule it out, but it may be that the mental problem causes the physical, but that’s rare so it cant be that, don’t want to make the condition common now. And it does not fit with the depression diagnosis.

Over and over again this pattern of therapy denial has taken place over the years.

But why have I bought this up?

Because I must have said the correct few words at that meeting. It went from “I don’t think you need psychology, just medication.” To being put down for recommendation for psychology and exposure therapy and group therapy.

One presumes one has not resolved the issues that are keeping myself unwell through the  8 plus years of medication.

But will it lead to anything this time? Or will it just be quashed once more? The cycle of frustration and hopelessness looping over and over, yet never moving.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel…It’s just a shame it’s the light from the tunnel construction crew way up ahead, furiously building new sections of tunnel.

Reflections 2020 w03

Am I the only one that thinks of something, presses the internet search shortcut, and completely forgets what it was I was going to look for?

It’s happened multiple times today, each time one has only had to hold the thought for a few seconds, but no, it disappears. Not even a hint of what it was remains. One hopes it is not important, or useful, or even something one was supposed to do, this has happened numerous times in the past.

There is the train of thought one must not worry, it will come. But how do you know that that was in fact the original thought unless the recurring thought jogs a memory recall? And how do you truly not think about trying to remember as the hours tick on past?

I think I need to get the desk pad out again, which sucks as one has the habit of curling the edges which then annoy me as I type. Also random stuff gets written down on it – which has no context or explanation, leading to great confusion later, as one tries to decide if it needs saving when it is time to tear off the top sheet.

Also, it is a waste of paper in another respect as you can only practically use one side, often desperately trying to come up with a practical disposable use for the blank side. Because you do not want to save the original side.

Aggghhh, brain rabbit hole.

On an unrelated note…This week I discovered you can dehydrate sausage, completely. One would have thought it was far too fatty to even attempt but the hash brown, sausage, veg and dehydrated egg Spanish omelet/bubble and squeak looks interesting. Experimenting will commence next month.

One also has to start experimenting with bannock bread and ghee.

A decision also has to be made on some camping equipment – do I sell it? Or do I keep it? The pros and cons for the two pieces are about even, and in my current state of mind one can either not be bothered or be in clear out mode, damn the consequences. There is one piece of ‘luxury’ equipment one would be happy to trade for, but as yet the second run of production has not been done.

I call it luxury, but is it? The item is a 5v camping wind generator. An item that will power up battery banks whilst I sleep, which then in turn power my camera/video camera/charge AA batteries for my GPS (which, as an old model, second hand, eats them, 8 hours per set of Duracell)/watch/phone/headlamp, and that is just off the top of my head. The power bank works for about 4-5 days (without the GPS) but I always watch the power consumption. And I would like to take more video footage on future trips.

True one could take extra power packs, but all electrical power banks reduce life in cold weather, and then you have to have somewhere that, usually charges too much, to recharge the device.

Solar is out, even if one was not walking in the day, you have to turn the device to get the best benefit. And rain and wind are more common on my camp trips than sun. Wind power makes more sense in the uk, and the peace of mind of being able to make electricity in the middle of nowhere has a comforting aspect to it.

The generator is also not limited to camping, I could use it at the allotment or out sea fishing as well. It is not a camping only item.

Here is the conundrum though…Few wind generators for camping get past the prototype stage, and fewer still are practical in use. This one is not the smallest generator size packed away, weight wise there is little difference between close rivals. So carrying has its issues. And will a second batch be completed for this item??? Or was the first crowd funded batch the first and last to be made? Do I get one if I can/there is a second run, or do I risk them disappearing into the void of things that were a good idea but…?

I hate my depressed mind, one used to be more carefree, adaptive, and sure of my decisions, even the wrong ones. Now…Now it’s just bloody hard work.

Reflections 2019 w48

Another post a day late.  One did not feel like writing yesterday, my back has been , quite frankly, annoying the hell out of me.

Playing with the kids on Saturday pulled a muscle in my lower back which has irritated one of my disc bulges that I was just getting over again. Who would have thought hitting children with balloons, their game rules not mine, could cause such pain.

Therefore my insomnia has a new play pal for my attention, a constant distraction from sleep. I now have a lot of naps 1/2 an hour after pain medication.

Also, my mind is trying to work overtime on foodstuffs for a walking holiday next year. This may sound insignificant to most people, and to myself pre-breakdown it would also have been, but not now.

Now I have major depression and high to severe anxiety; this I know all too well. So in order to walk Hadrian’s wall next year one has to take several attacks into account. Overcoming these has taken the form of routines or patterns of familiarity. Food wise one has to have my entire menu for 14 days sorted bagged and labelled, so that eating is a routine and not something one can skip.

Not just labelled into meals…Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

But by the day. Including teabags to be had, when to have them etc. It is the only way I will not become overwhelmed by simple decisions. Normal tea or Green tea can become an hour of indecision, not able to do anything else whilst my brain buffers the information.

But, another concept that is going to be new for me, is keeping the food weight down. No cooking fresh chicken on this trip. And with being in the UK, there is no real supply of dehydrated meat that I would want to trust, except the very expensive stuff, which would also be too much for one to have in a week, the usual time to consume once opened.

With that being said, one has researched online, and I have to admit there has been a few surprises. Mainly in the dehydrating meals wise. My dehydrator is a simple one, it has no temperature control, and although it does say it can do meat – I do not trust it for that. Therefore the cooked meals are going to be out for home dehydrating, and have you seen the cost for the camp meals already done? Wow, I would need a small loan just to eat, and a blood flush to get rid of the salt concentrating in my veins from eating them for a fortnight.

To be honest, like most people who carry a Trangia cook set, boiling water and then soaking for ten minutes to eat a warm meal, is just not that appealing. It is why they are called a cook set. We can cook with them, and I have had some nice meals in a tent before…Wild boar, Pheasant, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Bison, Venison and fillet steak.

Just because one is in a tent does not mean one cannot eat like a king.

Spoilt and over the top.

Admittedly one was working unto 70hrs a week when those meals were ate, and getting a discount for the meats due to the job one was in.

So this time around one is going to have to work out meals based around dehydrated veg, I cannot imagine meals without veg, tinned fish/meat and a new thing one has found called TVP, a soy product, I will not call it a meat alternative, because I have yet to taste a meat alternative that is either…An alternative to meat, or, just better to to call it vegetarian/vegan. My brain is not left feeling conned when the taste just does not match up to what they say it tastes like. Sometimes one wonders if the person has even ate the foodstuff being copied.

I started the idea of the walk in October, I started the meal research in November, now  one is looking for recipes to try to create from dehydrated veg in December.

When is the walk you may ask?

Next August, I just hope one can get things sorted by then.

Starting a new habit or routine, even a new thing to become familiar, takes time. These meals I have yet to create have got to become all of the above, so I do not have to think about them to do them.

It may be even harder to do if some of the ingredients have got to have a gradual introduction to my food chain. It took me 12months to introduce courgettes into my diet, to the point I can eat a whole one in my meal today.

Luckily the veg to be prepped are all staples in my current diet, but will they work dehydrated???

Reflections 2019 w39

One has jut had a Holliday in wales again. Wet, windy and a lack of fish in the sea.

Not all the weather was wet to be honest, myself and my brother had a couple of afternoons sitting in stunning little bays watching hundreds of ferry swimming around below our feet, just no larger ones to catch on the hook. Luckily for me the views are the main part of the fishing, catching is a rare bonus.

However, my brother and I did look like we were fishing at different seasons. I was in shorts and he was in a quilted jacket, thick trousers and complaining he was cold.

One has been taken off my anti psychotic meds now, and the anxiety attacks are getting worse. Until it can be proven that my pain medication is/or is not causing the rash/bleaching of my skin it is in the great wisdom of the psych team to not place me on any meds for my mental health.

Which would not be a problem if the medication was just part of the treatment plan, as I was told it would be 8 years ago. But it is not, so how low one has to go before they change their mind we will have to see. I suppose it all depends on how quickly I get through the tranquillisers one has for emergencies.

I hate this treatment ‘plan’.

Reflections 2019 w36

This weeks reflections is going to be a little different, and I apologies in advance for those that read these and my poetry releases – there is going to be a double up.

All of us at some point will have to experience this, in fact it is probable the only thing in life we CAN guarantee…

My heart goes out to those sharing the feelings that this time brings.

So here is the (amended) poem…

 

JOE

 

TV now stands quiet,

We’ve no need now to shout.

For Uncle Joe, he was quite deaf,

When hearing aids fell out.

 

No – “Oh, Hello.”

Followed by a smile.

His chair it sits empty now,

It has done for a while.

 

We’re not here a visit,

But sorting what is left.

Wonder what this item is?

And, Why was this thing kept?

 

Memories we’re a sharing,

Whilst doing this last task.

With fondness and with laughter,

What more can we now ask?

 

What things we find of value,

Will those that we will leave?

More precious are the memories,

To those that do bereave.

 

I hear the clock a ticking,

Just like those at Nan’s.

Noise level is a matching,

Dried peas n shake tin cans.

 

Yes everything is leaving,

All of it must go.

We’ve said  our last fare-well,

To my,

Uncle Joe.

 

Rest in peace.

Reflections 2019 w33

When do you say “goodbye” to a dementia patient?

Sounds a bit mean does it not? However it is a genuine question on perspective.

The person is still the person despite the dementia, though at times their mind is not ‘here’, the feelings for the person are the same, they may even be stuck in the struggle to find – words, or mentally in a place thats different altogether.

And is that goodbye for the persons benefit; or is it for our own?

Does the goodbye need recognition for it to be validated? Or does it not count if it is forgotten when they close their eyes for just a little while?

And why do we feel the need for it, or carry the guilt for not saying it before the final goodbye ceremony of a funeral. Which makes it seem like it has to be at least said to the living.

But when your mind blanks areas of ones mind they are no longer accessible. It is as though it never happened. So who’s perspective holds the power of the goodbye?

We are not the only species to do funerals, it has been recorded that crows do it, even to the extent of holding a silence and a gathering at the final resting place of a fallen crow. Crows also tell stories to their young much like our stories of things to watch out for. So this gets me to thinking as to whether or not they also feel the need to say goodbye, and  do they also feel guilty if they do not?

Or do we need to make every goodbye the last goodbye, carried on a smile and with a warmth in our hearts. Letting the person know that we care, and that we value the time spent with them.

Maybe thats what the crows do, because can we really say when our goodbye is going to count?

 

Mare’s Field…#Poem

Mare’s Field

Tales of a pond,

Nay, there be two.

Whispers in playground

of what we should do.

Sneak over the road,

and find the red path.

Shrouded by talk trees,

we giggle and laugh.

Follow the leader,

who’s been there before.

Telling us stories 

of what is in store.

Frog spawn and tadpoles,

the stickle back fish.

Something called newt,

to see it we wish.

Crested the first hill

and broke through the trees.

masses of bankside,

our little eye sees.

Follow the footpath,

go down and go up.

Sharing a bottle,

each taking a sup.

Onward we venture,

to crest one more hill.

There in its glory,

Gleams pond water still.

This was our first time 

’twas never our last.

Mare’s field’s our future,

our present, our past.

Remember the pleasure

you had in this park.

Maybe go wander,

when life looking stark.

 

A § M 

05/06/2019

Reflections 2019 w31

Do you ever think about going into a nursing home?

Not a care home, where you may be fully functional but you want that little bit more security and safety, with less housekeeping hassles. A nursing home where you need help with the basic living needs.

Ohh, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there…This I recon petty much sums up our viewpoint on the matter. But you don’t get there if you get something like dementia.

Then it’s up to your family to sort it out, and to try and explain where you are when you may not have the short term memory to remember what you have been told.

Suddenly you wake in a strange place that is not your home.

I’ve been on a mental ward with dementia/Alzheimer patients, one kept flitting back to being a teenager, or in a park where she had lost her son, or clear moments of vivid memory, seemingly ok. Another person was not in such a ‘good’ state. He thought, because he could not leave, he was unjustly arrested and being held prisoner without being charged, escape was on his mind all the time, and several times he did. Though he never got far. He never believed he was in a hospital.

One chap had incontinence issues and was protesting being in the pads by scooping up his business, if he had not made it to the loo on time, this was always the nurses fault, and spreading it around the walls of the corridor.

Shame it would appear is one of the last emotions to leave you. Anger stokes the flames. It has to have one last dig at what you have become, status nor money will effect it. And it is, at that point, too late to make changes to your routine to delay its onset.

Maybe we should all be thinking about it, so we can do something now to help delay it, maybe altogether.

Gratitude…#Poem

Gratitude

Maybe my Gratitude

was met with a platitude,

until I started to think.

What if ones Gratitude,

with a change of my attitude,

allows for the good vibes to sink.

No longer in servitude,

or feeling of lassitude,

but nectar thats ready to drink.

Found not in solitude,

but part of a multitude,

In crash or simply a dink.

I now take an interlude,

to build on my fortitude,

find solace, instead of the brink.

 

A § M 

29/05/2019