Discharged before anxiety therapy
This week I have learned quite a bit about anxiety. The reason? Well, a few weeks ago my community mental health team discharged me from their care. I’ve been with them for around four years, and at times they’ve had some good ideas and implemented what seemed like good plans, but something always got in the way. Yes, you’ve guessed it, me. Or rather my wonky brain, and the wonky way it regulates its own chemicals.
To explain further I’ll have to be a bit more personal than I have been on this blog, and this may be a turning point for myself and the blog. My fiance thinks I write well, and I would love too but am never sure if I make a lot of sense or manage to stay on subject and make a good argument, or at least write something interesting to read.
A little about me
I am 43 years old. I like to think I’m a young 43, although my fiance says I’m turning more into Victor Meldrew as I get older. I really like dogs. I had a complicated childhood of which is too complex to tell you about in this article, but keep your eye out as next week I start counselling. I haven’t had any type of counselling before and this is in regards to some things that happened as a child almost 40 years ago. Yes, that is a long time to get help, but my psychologist assures me that many men my age finally seek help for negative things that happened in their childhood. Something I didn’t find reassuring at all but was utterly shocked by. I mean, I know us men have a reputation for not going to the doctor unless something significant has stopped working or about to fall off, but 40 years?
The teenage years
I recall as a teenager I could be particularly moody but could be fun to be around too. Mainly fun because sometimes danger didn’t phase me, or I could do slapstick and impressions. Other times I could be loud and full of energy and euphoric. However, there was always the downside. The moodiness, not wanting to around anyone, terrible dark thoughts convincing me to do horrible things. This I now know as rapid cycling bipolar disorder. And also, there was frequently the chest pains and not being able to breathe, which I now know is anxiety probably brought on by PTSD. I hid this all away from my adopted parents and friends. My adopted dad was the only person who occasionally would say “what are you worried about boy” or “you’re looking deep in thought.”
Thankfully I had a few outlets for my feelings. A few friends started a band in which I played bass guitar. I chose bass as all the other slots were filled. I’m pretty sure that’s how most bass players are created. Music was great therapy, although at the time I knew it made me feel good but hadn’t realised how important it was to calm the anxiety and lift me from depressive episodes.
At school, drama lessons meant I could be someone else or a version of me depending on the mood. Playing rugby and hockey meant I was on a level playing field with the bullies, so my lanky skinny frame could get its own back. My english teacher was very supportive and always positive about the work I produced. Fiction had always been an essential part of my childhood and still is now although I find it hard to concentrate sometimes.
Anxiety in adulthood
After school and through college I was still suffering the same symptoms. At work and college, I would have fantastic ideas and be motivated and energetic thanks to the bipolar mania. This would be followed by the inevitable crushing lows of depression. I would try to hurt myself physically just to have a few days off work so I could hide away from everyone and everything. Just the thought of going to work depressed would trigger the anxiety symptoms.
I slowly found alcohol to be helpful at times, and in fact, would sometimes drink to trigger the mania. This didn’t always work and only pushed me more towards depression. Nonetheless, alcohol did subdue some symptoms, especially the anxiety, and without knowing it I relied on alcohol and, like so many in similar circumstances, self-medicated with it until the alcohol no longer worked. In fact sometimes it would make things so much worse.
The present day
Fast-forward to the present; I have been diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder and anxiety for four years. Most recently a diagnosis of PTSD has been suggested along with BPD. Insomnia is also a big problem. The mental health team has decided that a big part of PTSD and insomnia is anxiety, for me anyway. They don’t treat anxiety with counselling so have referred me to a specialised counselling service for the specific counselling they think I need. With that, they have discharged me, not because I’m cured or stable, but because;
- They don’t know what to do with me, so perhaps they hope I go away.
- My community psychiatric nurse was fucking useless, even vaped in a hospital room while talking to me!
- They don’t have another CPN to allocate to me.
- They spent £700000 on building new meeting rooms, yet can’t afford another CPN.
- I’ve been too soft and should have demanded more from them.
- My GP is doing a better job.
It has got to the point where I’m going to have to teach myself cognitive behavioural therapy because they won’t offer it to me even though I first asked for CBT 3 years ago. So I’m at least going to learn as much about anxiety as I can and share with anybody else in a similar position.
Please let me know if you have any resources you wouldn’t mind sharing.
With that in mind, please share this far and wide using the buttons below, and i’ll see you soon 🙂