Therapy.. All Change

Well after another counselling session and explaining about my nightmares and being angry. The Counselor was very Good, listened, understand and made made changes. So Its all stop on therapy that I’ve been doing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation Therapy (PMRT). We have decided to stop this as its causing unwanted and unintentional side effects.

We are now trying a new approach, humanistic therapies, which focus on self-development in the ‘here and now’ rather than the events of the past. Apparently, my mind and body are ‘stuck’ in the past, reliving the events of 2013. So we are now going to try and retrain my mind to force it into ‘reality’ and not the scary, dark places of my mind. Not sure how this will work, counselor says it will take a long time and that it’ll be very difficult. But always knew it was a long road. As much as i wish for a quick fix, it wont happen.

I Have had quite a week, of unexpected things happen which I think I have handle well. Fireworks and Bonfire night (5th November) and anxiety certainly do not mix. Although I was anxious and quite jumpy i didn’t have a full blown panic attack which I expected to have. I have Contacted my GP to ask for additional support and for details to be put on thier systems under the Accessible Healthcare process. Have also chanced up a number of other things that have been causing me concern, so in all a positive week.

World Mental Health Day

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It’s World Mental Health Day today. Let’s remove the stigma for the 1in4 together. One in four of us will experience mental health issues at some point in our lives, and many of us will support the 1 in 4. We need a revolution in mental health services.

If you need support, contact your local Mind or Sane groups.
Mind.org.uk and sane.org.uk

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Dyslexia Awareness Week

Its Dyslexia Awareness week!

I’ve suffered from Dyslexia all my life, its not something that’ll go away or can be cured. Its something that i have to continue learning to cope with. It caused me huge issues in school and in my work life, but there has been alot of help and support out there for Dyslexia sufferers. Still along way to go though.

What is Dyslexia? Click Here

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Links:

British Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia Action

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Starting Treatment

Well I’ve started having treatment through Healthy minds Bury. Only had one session so far.

Since my Breakdown in 2013 I’ve been asking and asking my GP and any mental health workers I come into contact with. Asking and sometimes pleading to have someone to talk to, someone i can discuss what happened, what i was feeling at the time, but no-one seems to want to listen to me. Everyone seems to want me to do CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy). In order to help treat and manage my anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms. Which in time would help. however i cant shift the feeling that i cant work on controlling my symptoms until I understand whats causing it. I cannot go forward until i go back.

Healthy Minds Bury are doing a CBT treatment course with me. And i’ll be honest i’m not sure. I’ll give it a go and back it 100% but its not what i asked for and kinda think the problems will continue afterwards. I’ll only be getting six sessions, lasting 30 minutes each every 2 weeks. I Know the NHS is stretched and Mental Health services are not that well funded, but do think this is a little poor. People like myself who have “imploded” and have numerous issues are kind of stuck. You can only focus on one thing at a time, then you have to have a pause after the sessions have finished to give time for what you’ve learnt to sink in and for you to adjust, before you can start the next issue.

With the amount of issues i’m currently facing, its difficult to establish which symptoms i’m having is physical or mental health related, this is how i found out i had badly damaged my hearing. With so many different symptoms some of which overlap its difficult to try and focus on one particular issue.

It’s taken me almost 3 years to get some help and this is only one step. A very long road ahead.

 

Holding My Own

Well had a couple of tough weeks. For all the good my GP Surgery has done for me i took the difficult step of sending a formal complaint in to them. Due to an error over prescriptions and the treatment i received. Cant say too much as investigation still on going.

Good news though is that I’ve been Discharged from the ENT (Ears, nose and throat) Department at Bolton Hospital, as they are happy that there is on physical issue causing my dizzy spells. They have determined that its a  symptom of my anxiety. I will still be under Audiology at Royal Bolton Hospital, Probably for life. As will need new batteries and maintenance of my hearing aid.

I Finally had my appointment for the Orthotics department, that was requested in January 2016, at North Manchester Hospital. Getting some specially made insoles for my shoes.

Still on a waiting list for Healthy Minds Bury, at Fairfield General Hospital. They have been good checking in with welfare calls to check my state of mind, making sure nothing is getting worse.

Its amazing that with all the medical issues i have both physically and mentally, that its not just one institution that looks after me. So far been to 4 different hospitals: Royal Bolton Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, Fairfield General and Rochdale Infirmary Hospital. Then you have my GP Surgery as well. The amount of medical notes they all hold on me would probably fill a truck. lol

Although things have been difficult in a number of ways, i’m not in such a mess that I thought i might me. I’m hanging in there, staying strong. Things are moving, maybe not the way or as quickly as i might have hoped, but its progress.

No more fight left

I feel so guilty. Guilty that I cannot fight and beat this depression, anxiety and PTSD. Guilty of the effects it’s having not only on me but on friends and family. I feel guilty asking for help, others get along by themselves, so why can’t I bounce back. Why is life so difficult? I feel guilty for saying how I really feel and worry about the effects it’ll have on others.

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I hate having money troubles, struggling to get by just to buy food and pay the bills. I wish I could be back at work earning money, rather than surviving on handouts. Have stripped back as much as I can. Can’t go out as unable to afford things. Can’t see family as much I’d like due to costs of train fares. The money worries keep me awake at night and increase my anxiety ten fold.

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Here’s hoping for a cure  and an end to mental health sufferers globally. It happens so quick you fall apart completely and yet takes years if ever to become ‘normal’ again. I’ll never get back to who I was before my breakdown, that has been taken from me. Trust that can no longer be restored. Have found I’m more cynical of everything, as before I used to see the good in everything and everyone. I just get that sinking feeling, another battle, another fight. I’ve been so strong and fighting so hard, I feel there’s no more fight left in me.

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Starting to move forward again

Well things are starting to move forward again, after grinding to a halt.

I Have received my appointment for the Orthotics Department, Was referred to them back in January 2016 and was told of a 9-13 month waiting list, but its come through after 6 months months so hopefully will be able to help. Although i am meant to be doing physiotherapy along side this, but that still up in the air between the mental health team and the physio departments.

After speaking with my GP and saying i didn’t think that CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) was right for me at this time. I was referred to the Healthy Minds team in Bury. And Have an assessment next week with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. Hopefully will be able to get someone for me to talk through things, as thats what i think i need and have been trying to get since 2013 without success.

Also Purchased a new pill box for myself:

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As I Take 6 pills of different medication daily (42 a week, 168 a Month!) I kept getting confused with which ones I had or hadn’t taken that day. Put now can just have a quick look and i’ll know. Also saves lots of space as don’t have big boxes stacked on each other anymore.

All Small Things, but all positive.

Asking for help

After speaking with family down in London, Went to GP and told her that I didn’t think CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) Was right for me at this time, I needed someone I could talk through my thoughts and feelings with. So I Have been referred to ‘Healthy Minds Bury’, so will see what comes of that. Also mentioned that i’m having mood swings and that my mood is normally a bit flat / nonchalant mood. So have had my medication increased. (6 pills daily now).

Been going regularly to Bolton Hospital since January for the dizzy spells I’ve been having, from when I fell and hit my head. Although they found that i had damaged and lost my some of my hearing, Reason why i know wear a hearing aid, but it seems that the dizzy spells i have been having are a symptom of anxiety, but GP didn’t want to do anything else as that’ll be for the Healthy Minds team and medication to help control.

So fingers crossed, hopefully be able to move forward again.

Philosophical thought…

Just feel like i’m being Stepped on.

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Always believed in a higher power, Everything that happens to me i have always believed is for a reason. Either i was an extremely bad person in my last life. Or i’m being challenged to see how much i can take and handle. In order to get ready for something in the future.

But sometimes I think enough is enough! Argh! I Keep plodding along, but guess it comes down to old age question of “What is the meaning of life?”

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Hearing aid update

Well I had a hearing aid fitted 3 days ago on my right ear, and wow i’ve noticed a huge difference already. I didn’t realise how bad my hearing was, hearing all sorts of different ‘new’ sounds. Still learning all the new wonderful sounds. Some sounds are already getting on my nerves.lol (The fridge motor being one of them).

Is a huge adjustment, will have to go back to the hospital every 3 months from here on out. But nothing i cant handle, hopefully. In 3 months time the Audiology department want to fit another hearing aid on my left ear. My left ear has always had the best hearing, but even in the short time i’ve had the hearing aid, i’ve noticed that the hearing in my left ear isnt as good as i thought. So maybe once i have both i’ll be able to hear the world in stereo, scary thought.lol

Will take me awhile to get to used to wearing it, think that’s why they want to fit the other one in 3 months time. Feels strange having something in my ear all the time, and does sometimes get a little sore, but from what i’ve read and been told, is perfectly normal as its my ear shaping around the hearing aid and it will get used to it.

The ‘new’ sounds and my anxiety don’t really go well together. but at least when i’m having a panic over something I can hear I can put it down to being able to hear it now and hopefully will help my anxiety in some ways as will be able to hear things better so wont be as scared on the louder noises.

Still a lot to learn, another long road ahead of me.

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Tinnitus & Hearing loss…

Well new year and new problems, although hopefully on track to get it eased.

Been to see an ENT Specialist (Ear, nose and throat)  at the Royal Bolton Hospital. As i’ve had ringing in my ears since i hit my head back in 2013. Didn’t go well.

Having to have an MRI scan, as Doc things the bump to the head, might have shaken things up and the ear canals may have moved or been damaged, hoping not, but having the scan to rule it out.

They also did a hearing test and found i have moderate hearing loss in the left ear and severe hearing loss in the right ear. Normal hearing range is 0-20 decibels, I scored 35 in my left and 60 in the right ear. So will need a Hearing aid on my right side, which will be fitted in the coming weeks. Am not allowed to have a silent room, gotta have a radio/music/tv on in each room i go into, to help ease the Tinnitus and gotta have a special sound box to help with me falling to sleep.

Health Update

Health Update:

CBT: (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
Had my first (and last) session yesterday. They are unable to help at the moment due to physical issues and high pain levels. As part of the CBT process involves mobility and as I’m in pain it will apparently distract me. So have to get my knees sorted before they will work on my mental state. However surgeons won’t help till my mental state is better. Catch 22. Waited 12 months for this to be told no, had it happened earlier i might have gotten it done.

Physiotherapy:
Went to physio today. Very painful. Apparently I have issues with my hips to add to my knees and feet. They are weak and rotating my legs more than they should. Been given exercises to complete over the festive period and have to go back first week of January.

GP:
Doctors keeping my current meds the same but given me more pain killers. Takes my total of pills to 14 a day.lol

More Health issues to fight!

Been to the Musculoskeletal Clinic at the hospital.

Feeling very sore after having my knee poked, prodded, pulled and stretched. My knee cap isn’t fitting in the groove of the knee joint. My Calfs muscles are not in control so are not puling the knee cap into place. I have flat feet and they twist outwards so this is rotating the knee and pulling the knee cap out of position. All of this is causing the pain and the crunching noise is the knee cap scrapping across the bones. as is being pulled and pushed in wrong directions.

Had 2 options available:
(1) Surgery, to cut some of the bone away in the knee and make the groove where the knee cap should sit larger. Would be done before christmas!
(2) Physiotherapy to strengthen and get back more control of my calve muscles. Also be referred to Podiatry to address the flat feet and my feet rotating outwards.

Due to current Mental issues we decided major surgery wasn’t really helpful. so going with option (2) Physiotherapy starts next thursday and been referred to Podiatry (currently 2 month waiting list) So long painful time to come.

Advice, Assistance, Directions…

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I don’t know what to do for the best…

When i finished my last counselling session in 2014, i was starting to get back on track and finding my way again. The sessions helped with my PTSD. My flashbacks and nightmares were the biggest challenge at the time. Then in January 2015 i felt strong enough to get help for my next issues which was anxiety and my GP Referred me for CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy). Which I agreed was right for me at the time. However i was expecting a 12 month waiting list. I’m now 9 months in and social anxiety is my biggest issue, however I’m not sure that CBT is now right for me in my current state of mind. I think talking to someone about my anxieties and things that had happened in my past (domestic abuse and past issues) that seem to be running rampant around me mind at the moment.

I’m scared of saying anything to my GP or asking for different help, cause i really don’t know what is for the best. I don’t want to end up in the same situation, if i cancel or change the CBT, i might then go back on a waiting list for another 12 months and that wont help. But at the same time, doing counselling/CBT when your not ready for it or in the right frame of mind, is also dangerous. (Numerous GP’s and mental health people have said this).

I feel i’m not only letting myself down, but letting friends and family down. Everyone wants me to get better ASAP, even though there is no official timescales for recovery. I don’t want to be a burden, a worry or a cause of stress for anyone.

There is always the crisis team, which i know have helped others before, but without a GP or someone referring me, i feel like a fraud asking for help. I just don’t know what to do or where to go!

 

NHS Failing Mental Health sufferers

I was referred for Cognitive behavioural Therapy back in January 2015, i’m still waiting been told it wont be until November or december till i’m seen. This means it will have 14 months since my last therapy and its just not helpful. The progress and steps forward i feel i made in 2014 has been undone.

Went to the GP this morning, and was told after 2 Years since my breakdown in 2013, there’s nothing more they can do for me. I have to sort it out myself.  Its a mental health issue and I’m the only one who can resolve it, i have to change the way i think and start improving.

Doesn’t really work like that, What does she think i’ve been doing for the past 2 years? clearly i’m struggling and not getting better fast and need help and assistance. Not to be told Sorry your on your own.

 

Unsettled nights….

Since my breakdown in 2013, I had huge sleeping issues. Loads of nightmares and Flashbacks (PTSD) and really wasnt sleeping. I went for counselling in 2014 and we used an NLP approach (Neuro-linguistic programming), to try and get rid/reduce the unsettled nights. It worked the nightmares and flashbacks have ‘stopped’ and i’m no longing waking up in panic.

But it seems to have had a different side effects. I still appear to be having nightmares but the NLP approach stops me remembering them, which stops me waking up in panic. But lately I’ve been waking feeling very anxious and i’m not getting great sleep, lots of tossing and turning. Because i cant remember them, I don’t know what’s caused the anxiety so i can’t fight it or overcome it. Just have to put it down to nightmares and carry on.

Although the NLP approach has helped to stop the panic attacks and is allowing me to get some sleep, I don’t really know how to over come the current issues. Hopefully as treatment continues (on waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), it will help address these issues. Positive thinking anyway.

 

 

Lost

Been feeling very lost lately. Still having trouble planning for the future and my social anxiety seems to be getting worse. I don’t feel safe or comfortable going out the flat. Not sure where its come from. A Lot of it predictably is in my head, feel i’m being judged by everyone and i feel some how that i’ve got a big label hanging over me saying “Hes nuts, stay away.”

Have a lot of support on facebook, twitter and other sites i’m on across the internet. A Lot of people wanting to meet me and say hello. I’ve never been great at ‘first contacts’ and with my anxiety since my breakdown its a huge barrier. I would love to meet some people and get out more, its just trying to cross that barrier that’s difficult. I’m still on a waiting list for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which has been months, hopefully will be able to chase it with the GP this week.

My Left knee has been acting up again. I had it reconstructed in 2010 and its been pretty good, but think it dislocated and popped back in, bruising and swelling suggests this too, GP’s given me lots of pain meds, but yet another barrier to getting out as i cant bear weight on it.

On the positive side of things during the late May bank holiday, i went with my BF and parents to Liverpool to see Cunards 150 Year anniversary 3 Queens event. Over 1 million people descended on Liverpool. There were crowds everywhere and tbh i didn’t cope great. Think i was able to mask a lot of it. but got to the stage where everyone was concerned and knew it was causing me issues (except for the crowd stewards who refused to help u, when we needed it).

 

Plodding Along….

Haven’t done an update in a while. Mainly because I’ve had nothing to report on. The benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) (vertigo) has improved alot since the doctor did his tests and exams. Still feeling very low on energy though. but the dizziness has subsided thankfully.

As for the Depression, Anxiety and PTSD, not much has changed. Have been focusing on the physical and getting them under control. So i’m not having too many panic attacks or burping fits as i used to. Sleep is still hit and miss, I am sleeping but wake up exhausted, not feeling any better for it. Still waiting for my referral for CBT to help.

I am having major problems with Social anxiety at the moment. Due to a mix of reasons. I feel safe in my home, I have gotten things under control, when i go out so much is out of my control. Things can go wrong so quickly and i don’t have any safety net or safe place to get to if i go out. Also i have stayed in and not been very active mainly due to the vertigo (BVVP) cant really go out and enjoy yourself if your dizzy. The good side though is now i’m getting over it and getting control of my physical symptoms.

I wish i had my confidence, to get out and meet more people. Its not that i haven’t had the offers, its just i’m way to scared.lol (Not as tough as my online persona shows). Unfortunately not every ‘gets it’ and think i’m just brushing them off, but i’m really not, would love to meet with some people, but just cant get over that hump to do it. Always had confidence issues.

 

Anxiety attacks Vs Panic Attacks

 For a long while its been to difficult for me to work out if i’m having an anxiety or a panic attack. Most people think they are the same and although they do seem it there is a huge difference. Which i’m now slowly starting to detect and then can take appropriate action, as the way to deal with the two different attacks are different.

What does anxiety feel like?

If you experience anxiety, you might find that you identify with some of the physical and psychological sensations in the table below. Anxiety can feel different for different people, so you might also experience other kinds of feelings, which aren’t listed here.

Physical sensations: Psychological sensations:
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • tense muscles and headaches
  • pins and needles
  • feeling light headed or dizzy
  • faster breathing
  • sweating or hot flushes
  • a fast, thumping or irregular heart beat
  • raised blood pressure
  • difficulty sleeping
  • needing the toilet more frequently, or less frequently
  • churning in the pit of your stomach
  • experiencing panic attacks
  • feeling tense, nervous and on edge
  • having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
  • feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
  • feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
  • feeling your mind is really busy with thoughts
  • dwelling on negative experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again (this is called rumination)
  • feeling restless and not being able to concentrate
  • feeling numb

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming physical sensations, such as:

  • a pounding heartbeat
  • feeling faint
  • sweating
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • chest pains
  • feeling unable to breathe
  • shaky limbs, or feeling like your legs are turning to jelly
  • feeling like you’re not connected to your body

During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that:

  • you’re losing control
  • you’re going to faint
  • you’re having a heart attack
  • you’re going to die