Autism Diagnosis

Since my nervous breakdown in 2013, I have been visiting the GP, going to counselling and even had a number of unexpected trips to Hospital. They seem to be finding more and more things wrong with me. First it was anxiety, depression and PTSD. Then they discovered I was partially deaf and classed as hard of hearing, requiring me to have 2 hearing aids fitted. During my numerous counselling sessions it was suggested more than once that I might autistic.

Last week I was officially diagnosed as having ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). I’m still trying to come to terms with it and what it all means. I am still awaiting the full report from the autism assessor and hopefully this will either answer some of my questions or put me in touch with people who can help answer them.

– Majority of Autistic people suffer from Anxiety and depression. So is how I’ve felt since 2013 part of my Autism Spectrum Disorder or are they in addition to it?

– Most autistic people are diagnosed when they are children, I’m in my mid thirties, apparently dyslexia is a common misdiagnosis of autism. I was diagnosed as dyslexic in 1998, so am I still dyslexic or has this been misdiagnosed?

– I have been reading and chatting to people who have been diagnosed with ASD later in life and they have said that their life changed and really began after their diagnosis. So will mine change and if so how?

– Are my physical disabilities part of ASD?

It is a big change and huge learning curve. For someone like me who isn’t always sure of his feelings to start with it’ll take time to adjust and time for it all to sink in. I’m relieved that they found something and it wasn’t me just going mad, but. at the same time I’m sad, scared and angry. Really is a jumble of all emotions. Apparently grief is an expected emotion after this diagnosis, but I’m not quite sure why, no one has died, I’m still the same person I was.

 

listed below are some things that are very familiar to me when I was looking through the autism website. I just thought everyone felt this way, didn’t realise it wasn’t normal.

Sight:
OVER-SENSITIVE
Has difficulty getting to sleep as sensitive to the light.

Sound:
UNDER-SENSITIVE
May only hear sounds in one ear, the other ear having only partial hearing or none at all.

OVER-SENSITIVE
Noise can be magnified and sounds become distorted and muddled.
Inability to cut out sounds – notably background noise, leading to difficulties concentrating.

Taste:
OVER-SENSITIVE
Certain textures cause discomfort

Touch:
UNDER-SENSITIVE
Has a high pain threshold.
Enjoys heavy objects (eg weighted blankets) on top of them.

OVER-SENSITIVE
Touch can be painful and uncomfortable – people may not like to be touched and this can affect their relationships with others.
Dislikes having anything on hands or feet.
Difficulties brushing and washing hair because head is sensitive.
May find many food textures uncomfortable.
Only tolerates certain types of clothing or textures.

Balance:
UNDER-SENSITIVE
A need to rock, swing or spin to get some sensory input.

OVER-SENSITIVE
Difficulties with activities like sport, where we need to control our movements.
Difficulties stopping quickly or during an activity.
Difficulties with activities where the head is not upright or feet are off the grou‏nd.

Where to start?

Argh! Don’t know where to start or what to do for the best. I have so many different issues both physically and mentally that need addressing. I have noticed however all these issues overlap and interact with one another. The way the mental health team and the GP work is to focus on one issue at a time. Which in theory would be a good idea, but by doing this its causing different issues to get worse or has unintended consequences.

I have just finished an ‘Anxiety group Workshop’ course of treatment. To be honest I think it made things worse than it did in actually helping. It was good to find out and hear from others that they were experiencing the same anxiety symptoms as I was (although for different reasons) so I learnt that I wasn’t alone and that I shouldn’t be so scared of the symptoms of anxiety. But it did show how bad and deep my depression was, we had an exercise where we had to challenge ‘negative thoughts’ and turn them into positive ones. For example I’m nervous of going out of my flat. “Something bad will happen if I do” so we had to change it into a positive thought “something good will happen if I go out” but I found that although I could make up something and change it into a positive I didn’t actually believe it and just made me more depressed.

Things that need to be sorted:

Depression – Have had depression for around 15 years, It comes and goes but is always there. I was in an abusive relation for 6 years, in a job that i was constantly bullied in for 10 years. A lot of people have taken advantage of me and my good nature, which makes trusting new people difficult. Have struggled with coming to terms with my sexuality, and struggled with my disabilities – Dyslexia, Hearing loss, musculoskeletal issues, mental health issues. and often depressed about money. Feeling low increases my anxieties. I have been suicidal and don’t want to fall back into that.

PTSD – Still getting flashbacks and nightmares of the events in 2013. This increases my anxiety and depression.

Anxiety – Because i’m anxious all the time and have physical symptoms (sweating) and panic attacks means I often don’t go out, makes me feel guilty and stops me from doing the things i used to enjoy and this makes me depressed.

Health – Due to musculoskeletal issues I’m constantly in pain, which makes my mood low, I tend not to go and get anxious that if i do go out i’ll be in pain or make it worse and i’m not in the right mental state to face surgery on it. I’m on 13 tablets a day, which i know is a lot and proves to me everyday that i’m unwell and increases my depression and my anxieties. I’m very conscious of my hearing aids and how people might react to it.

It’s only a brief description of the things i need sorting, because theirs lots more involved and i’m not comfortable sharing or bringing up everything at the moment, hopefully will give people an insight into how everything is interlocked and overlapping. So when your focusing on one single issue the other issues get worse, and its like taking one step forward and 2 steps back. GP wants to know how i want to move forward with my treatment and what i want to focus on, but i really don’t know as everything is connected. Nothing is worse than anything else, they are all as bad as each other. Ideally would need to work on all of them at the same time to slowly reduce the effects but the Health system doesn’t appear to be set up to accommodate that.

Darkness of Depression

I cant seem to win or move forward with my recovery. People keep telling me that i’m doing well and they have seen improvements but whats happening in my head/mind doesn’t agree. I seem to have so many problems that its always playing catch up, sort one thing out and another rears its head. If its not anxiety, its depression or PTSD or Physical issues, not forgetting financial troubles.

For the past 2 weeks I have been attending an anxiety group workshop. It’s been difficult on so many levels, this week in particular as we have been focusing on Negative thoughts. This just seems to be making my depression darker/deeper. Which in turn is causing anxiety as i don’t want to end up like i was at the beginning of 2014 when i was suicidal. The current focus of the anxiety workshop is focusing on negative thoughts and turning them into positive thoughts. I’m really struggling to find any positive thoughts that i believe though. Which is making me feel depressed. The medication i take for my anxiety and depression doesn’t allow me to feel anything, it reduces or blocks my emotions, which i have mentioned to the GP and she’s happy for that to continue as she doesn’t want me to be depressed or suicidal again. I currently take 200mg of Sertraline which is the maximum dose. So if i did go back to the GP for a medication review, it would mean changing the medication i was and trying to find one which works again, which isn’t the best idea, i think as that too could increase my anxiety or depression.

I hate feeling like this, i wish i could feel something else. Just don’t know where to turn. I’m in therapy, i’m on medication i’m doing everything i can but just seem to be getting worse.

Invisible Disabilities

I suffer from a number of Invisible Disabilities including Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, being hard of hearing and having musculoskeletal disorders. On a good day people would never know, but there are times when some help is needed.

I’m very conscious of my disabilities and don’t like to let it show it. Probably stems from the stigma around mental health and people with disabilities and also my own feelings of not letting my disabilities affect my life. Everyone else can do it/things so why cant I. I’m sometimes my hardest critic. I don’t like to complain that i’m in pain, or saying I don’t feeling right, because that’s all I’ve ever known, just assumed that’s how everyone is. however through my counselling I’m starting to come to terms with things and starting to see things in a different light.

I Have seen that Transport for London is rolling out a campaign so people with hidden disabilities can wear a badge which says “Please offer me a Seat” BBC news Article I think this is a really good and useful idea. The only down side is that its only for London. I Sometimes struggle to stand for long periods and when travelling on public transport it isn’t always a smooth ride, as you are jostled about (no matter how good the driver), for me this can be very comfortable as my body moves one way or the other, the pressure on my knees and my muscles increases and decreases something I cant prepare for it and can cause more pain. I don’t like to attract attention and wouldn’t have the confidence to ask someone for a seat, even if they are sat in a ‘priority seat’ or a disabled seat. Cause like me they might have invisible disabilities themselves. So a badge would be a good idea. When I have had to rely on crutches to get about people have been more than willing to help me and offer seats, but i don’t always require crutches and being a 34 year old man people wouldn’t think that i’d be disabled.

With more awareness of invisible disabilities and illnesses the Metro News website did a great article of “Why are people with an invisible illnesses so scared to ask for a seat on public transport?” link to article here

So I’ve decided to take a very small step and order myself one of these:

16mm Round, Disabled Lapel Pin Badge

Invisible Disabilities are hidden, and not something to be proud of or to show off. But people wont know how to treat you if they are not aware. So a small disabled badge on my clothes, might not change anything, but some observant people might see it and may offer me a seat or help. Cant hurt to try?

Truthfully, I am ashamed that i’m disabled and that i’m a different to everyone else. But with counselling I’m realizing “Its OK to be Me” and I have to accept that I am disabled and shouldn’t be ashamed of it or ashamed of asking for help. I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference but even any small difference has to be worth it?

Life has Stopped

3 Years ago my life came crashing down around me and hasn’t really moved on from there. Greater Manchester Police have ruined my life! I don’t blame the individual officers but the force as a whole. It could have and should have been dealt with differently. Maybe if it it had Greater Manchester Police wouldn’t be a destroyer of lives. (sorry have really strong views on this)

We are 3 Years on from my Nervous breakdown and i’m in two minds. Yes I have moved forward since then and my anxiety, Depression and PTSD have improved on what they used to be. I know I still suffer greatly and this is has stopped my life in my tracks. People keep telling me i’m in a better place and have improved since 2013, but I’m not myself. I know i’ll never be the same person I used to be in 2013 but I’m struggling to find myself again.

Anxiety, really does rule your life. You have to try and plan everything, e.g. planning on what clothes you wear, I suffer from anxiety sweats so need to plan ahead. You gotta plan escape routes and where places of safety are if i should have a panic attack during the trip out. People who don’t suffer from anxiety are unable to understand how much it rules your life. Add in depression and PTSD flashbacks it is a constant battle.

Mental Health care in the NHS is not handled well. (coming from first hand experience) Everyone wants to “help” by giving you strategies to cope with anxiety, depression and PTSD. Not once has anyone sat down and tried to talk to me about what the causes of it are. So i’ll always be left with the causes and not being able to correct/deal with them, but just to cope with the anxiety and depression that affects me now. I understand we cant go back in time and change things, but i need to try and understand what happened. So far its been, don’t think about it, lock the memory away and throw the key away. So rather than acknowledging and knowing my feelings its just switching everything off and leaving me feeling numb to everything.

Life should not be like this, no one should live like this.

Anxietystop

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.

 

Flashback Re-emergence

After having my breakdown in 2013 I had loads of flashbacks due to PTSD. Almost all of them were me ‘flashing’ back to the Time that Greater Manchester Police were in the flat, The Hi-viz jackets they wore were so visible in the flashbacks. I had some Therapy in 2014 which used an NLP approach to help me deal with the flashbacks caused by PTSD. It really did help and I had thought I had gotten a handle on it, however they have re-emerged this week.

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The trigger this week was due to Greater Manchester Police turning up at the flat again. (Nothing as serious as 2013) but it brought all the memories back again and the flashbacks. The flashbacks are a mixture of the 2013 events and this weeks, yet again the officers hi-viz clothing is extremely vivid.

I Have been so anxious and shaky since they turned up. Just as I thought I was getting somewhere, something simple throws me back.

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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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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!

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

A Step forward….

WOW! What a week, I’ve had. Certainly impressed and proud of myself (something very unusual these days.)

My Parents came up from London, to visit me and my boyfriend, to see how were are doing and to say hello. We had a fabulous time. We went out for meals and went and showed them parts of our city. Lots of people, crowds and noises and coped really well. Did so much, that was so afraid of. Managed huge crowds, being close to police Officers from GMP (Greater Manchester Police) and getting out the flat. Really did have a lovely weather for it too.

We went to the World Famous Bury Market, had a lovely time wandering round. Didn’t have too many issues. While we had a break from the market, we were sat having tea and coffee, and the next table called over a Police Officer who was passing by, to talk to them and although my anxiety & PTSD went through the roof and I had the shakes. I didn’t have a full blown panic attack. Which is a first, esp being that close to a Police Officer. We later went into a local Poundworld and all over the store (Sometimes hidden), they had cardboard cut outs of police officers around the shop. There was one in particular that really did scare me as I just caught it out the corner of my eye. I panicked Swore out loud and literally jumped into this poor lady doing here shopping. Had to apologise and felt so guilty about it. But I calmed down and was able to carry on. The Panic passed really quickly. I even Managed to get a photo taken of me standing next to one of the cardboard “Police Officers.” Sounds really silly, and others wouldn’t give it a second thought but boy it took me some courage. Really pleased and proud of myself for doing it.

The Next day we had a lovely day out in Salford Quays & Media City. Seeing the ITV & BBC Studios and visiting the Lowry outlet Mall (Love the Cadbury shop there), and visited the Imperial War Museum North.

Still a long way to go, but shows I’m coping a lot better.

Me

The Internet is a lifeline….

The Internet is a lifeline for people who suffer from Mental Health Issues. You can have loads of support from friends and family, but if you’re terrified of social situations it can be very difficult to meet for a coffee or even talk on the phone. People do take it for granted that its easy to walk down to the shops, do your shopping and head back. but when you Suffer from PTSD and scared of the Police (GMP – Greater Manchester Police), like I am. Every time you go out. Its takes hours of planning and building yourself up, not just mentally but physically as well. When i’m having an Anxiety attack, then i’m sweating and shaking profusely and takes a while before i can calm down and build the confidence to head out.

On Days where anxiety is too high or confidence is too low (or both), The internet is a lifeline. It allows you to connect not just to friends, family but online friends and sometimes more importantly other sufferers who are going through what you are. Knowing that its not just you and that other people know exactly how you feel and what your going through, not only helps boost your confidence but you share coping strategies.

I suffer from not only Depression, but Anxiety, Panic attacks and PTSD, as well as some other medical issues. During the course of the day with so much affecting me, my moods can be all over the place. So having access to the internet and my own network of coping strategies (My Blog, Member of several groups, Facebook, Twitter, email etc..) it is an outlet and a release. From one minute to another my mood can change.

I have found that do tend to bottle feelings, emotions and thoughts up inside, and have found it does not help or work and gets ya into a bigger mess and more of a state. However I do find sharing my thoughts and feelings online can be a huge release. It might be difficult and worrying for people to read, but its much better that i’m talking about these feelings and sharing rather than cutting myself off and letting the thoughts fester.  [whohit]Internet-is-a-lifeline[/whohit]

 

life preserver

PTSD – Flashbacks

Since my Counselling Started to help reduce my Nightmares and flashbacks from events that happened in Nov 2013. I have had a good couple of months without them, but had had the first one in ages the other night. Scared the crap out of my was screaming as i woke. But it didn’t disrupt my whole day like they normally do. Small victory but a huge step forward for me.

Flashbacks are horrible. Takes ya right back there to all the sounds, smells and feelings i had at the time of the incident. Its definately not like recalling a memory. Terrified, but shows the counselling works as i could calm down and more on soon after. It didn’t ruin my whole day.

Flashbacks

Small steps..  [whohit]PTSD-Flashbacks[/whohit]

Steps

Confidence V Risk Taking

Well Since my breakdown in November, I have started to realize that the world i create in my mind and the things i image happening are a lot more worse and scary then real life itself. I Have found myself wanting to do things that i would have before said was too dangerous or stupid to do. What i deem stupid and dangerous is quite different to everyone else. I haven’t had the best confidence, and have had other health issues (knees) which have restricted some of the activities i would have liked to do.

I have noticed a trending of me wanting to do more things that are out of my comfort zone. Is this because i have a new found confidence that the world isn’t as scary as it used to me. Or is it me just taking more risks, cause I’m in the what the hell mood, nothing can be as worse as what I’ve already experienced.

It could be both a boost to me confidence as well as more risk taking. I’m not planning on doing anything silly, but more open to ideas now than i was before ( See my Bucket List). Incresed risk taking esp, with my mental health issues are a worry, but its also something that is well known and documented with people who have PTSD and Depression. As for the increased confidence i think this is more that i ahve realized in myself that The Reality of the world is not as scary as what my mind can produce. Then again i’m still scared and have no confidence going out, another symptom of my Anxiety Disorder.  [whohit]Confidence-V-Risk-Taking[/whohit]

Sleeping Issues

Been having a huge amount of Sleeping problems since the events in November 2013. I used to struggle to function if i didn’t get a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, would wake up grumpy and tired if i didn’t. But for the past 10 Months I’d be lucky to get 6 hours a night. And even then its not full restful sleep. Its unbroken and difficult. Although on the plus side do get to see some lovely Sunrises over Manchester as I’m still awake as the sun comes up (chance for a Twitter or Facebook upload).

Suffering from lack of sleep is horrible. It brings your mood down, you cant concentrate on anything. Everything is so much effort and there is just no motivation at all to do anything.

I’ve been having Counseling through Bury IAPT services for the past 3 or 4 months to help with my flashbacks and nightmares that started after my breakdown.  This has helped to control my nightmares and Flashbacks but they still appear from time to time, Classic symptoms of PTSD. The main flashback that troubles me is one of the memories i had when Greater Manchester Police (GMP), first came to the flat and made me think that my Fiancee and love of my love had died. Its of a police officer that was stood in my the flat. in a certain stance, he was wearing full police uniform including high-vis jacket. And had his arms up holding onto the top of his stab vest. This image haunts me. The Police tell me Officers stand like that cause its more comfortable as the stab vest and equipment they have is uncomfortable. But i saw it as a very aggressive stance. It looks like his fists were up and ready for a fight and he was ready to launch at me any moment.

The Nightmares are truly awful, waking up covered in sweat, heart pounding, jumping up and screaming. The nightmares although were different in scene setting, people in them but there are 3 main themes which keeping troubling me and keep coming up time and time again. The first one is seeing Police in my nightmares, this would start of my anxiety/panic attacks and after waking i wouldn’t have a chance of getting back to sleep. On numerous occasions the Nightmare of the Police raiding the flat or me opening the door to see a policeman there, would require me to get dressed and walk around the block to confirm that there are no Police nearby, this sometimes stops the panic attacks but rarely stops the anxiety attacks. The policeman is always the same, same face, doesn’t matter what I’m dreaming about he’ll walk my nightmares to find me. The second theme again stems from the PTSD and the thought that my other half had died. In the nightmares I’m loosing someone close to me. friends, family the person who dies or goes missing is always different but the emotions and feeling of loss just brings me back to the way GMP left me in November after the first visit they paid me. The emotion and feeling of loss is huge and very dark, Some very dark places and thoughts come after these nightmares. The 3rd theme is quite simply fear. Just being afraid scared of everything and anyone, again down to GMP and me loosing my ‘safety net’, no-one is there to help or protect me and this leaves me feeling very alone, very vulnerable and very scared.

At the moment i have no sleep routine, I sleep when i can and when needed. I still try and go to bed and sleep but normally just lie there for hours in between 20 minute power naps. I’m constantly tired and not through lack of trying to sleep. Back in December the GP put me on medication (Zopiclone), some strong sleeping tablets. I was only allowed that one prescription of it (28 tablets) due to them being addictive. They did allow me to sleep for a good uninterrupted, restful time.

Although the flashbacks and nightmares have improved with the help of counseling. Its not just the sleeping that’s an issue. My Anxiety disorder is next on the list that i need to get help for. I’m actually scared/worried of waking up. As silly as it sounds, but when I’m asleep, no one can hurt me. There is less people about at night and generally less noise so allows me to get things done and completed without jumping at every noise from outside or elsewhere in the building. In November the 2 days the Police arrived at the flat they woke me up and got me out of bed. So I’m extremely anxious in the mornings. This could be why i stay up all night before going to sleep when the sun comes out. Then again when my Partner Mike was having his flashbacks/rough/dark times they generally were at night. So I’m not sleeping as heavily as i was to listen out to keep me eye on him.

So really my Sleeping issues are a mess. And that’s just the mental health side of things troubling me when i try to sleep. Not to mention the back or knee pains.  [whohit]Sleeping-issues[/whohit]

Feeling Worthless or Guilty

I feel so guilty all the time. Feel guilty for having dark thoughts for not being full of joy and life. I know its part and parcel of Depression and PTSD. Its part of my illness but still hate it. Feeling guilty for needing someone to talk to or asking for help. Its my issue, my illness so why bother others? Well as the saying goes ‘Problem shared is a problem halved.’ I’m slowly starting to open up and the blog really does help.

Some days i just gotta focus on myself as my mental health or physical health isnt great. But feel so guilty to say i need time out or i need a rest day!

 

Its not just me:

“Feeling Worthless or Guilty

People who are depressed may tend to think of themselves in very negative unrealistic ways. They may become preoccupied with past “failures,” personalize trivial events, or believe that minor mistakes are proof of their inadequacy. They also may have an unrealistic sense of personal responsibility and see many things as being their own fault. For example, a car salesperson may spend a great deal of time blaming himself/herself for not meeting certain sales quotas even when the overall sales of cars in the area is down and other salespeople are having similar difficulty. Sometimes this belief of personal responsibility can become delusional. For instance, a person may begin to believe that he or she is to blame for civil unrest in other parts of the world.

Self-loathing is common in clinical depression. This can be a downward spiral when combined with other symptoms such as lack of energy and difficulty with concentration. For instance, if a person has been unable to keep the house clean or finish assignments at work, he or she may look to that as proof that he or she is a bad person. The more things do not get done at home or work, the worse a person feels about him or herself. In reality, the person has problems at home and work because of the effects of a depressive illness, not because he or she is a “bad person.”

Diagnostically, a person would experience feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day for a period of two weeks in order to meet criteria for major depression. However, beliefs or thoughts that do not meet the criteria for major depression include feeling blame for being ill and not meeting personal responsibilities as a result of clinical depression.”  [whohit]Feeling-worthless-or-guilty[/whohit]

What have you done today to make yourself feel Proud?

Well Have had a busy morning, busy for me anyway. I went out and went to the Local GMP Police Station. To get a second form for the Professional Police Standards Branch for me to sign. Huge accomplishment going to the police station. Had a massive panic once i had got home, but thankfully not while out and about. Had to have a couple of days to build myself up to it.

Also Posted a couple of letters and had a short walk. For someone who suffers PTSD and anxiety this is a huge accomplishment. Feeling proud of myself. Haven’t really left the flat for 10 months. Need to try and get out more and start doing the things i enjoy again.  [whohit]What-have-you-done-today…[/whohit]

 

Terrified of the Police

Yep as Silly as it sounds I’m terrified of the police. Due to the events in November 2013 (see my previous blog). I’m scared of the police. I have lost all trust and faith in Greater Manchester Police and UK policing as a whole.  I do have an anxiety disorder and do suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I used to hold the UK  Police in the highest esteem, never had problems with them, always helpful and were there when needed, esp during my Domestic abuse issues from a previous partner.  The police could do no wrong in my eyes they were the pillars of the community. Yes i had heard horror stories and of things going wrong with other people before, but hadn’t seen it myself. I would love to go to Police Station open days look around their Vehicles and in Manchester they even have 999 Emergency Day, when all the emergency services show off their kit and you can get up close and personal.

But since 2013, this safety net has gone, there is no one to help anymore. If i was a victim of an attack or a crime, i don’t think id report it. Whats the point? just leads to more stress and anxiety. I would rather cross the road and walk through a large crowd then walk past a Police officer. We are taught from a very young age that we can always talk to the police, they are always there to help. But when it goes wrong and the trust breaks down. Then your on your own. I have tried to get myself used to the police again, but its a struggle. No matter where you go these days there will be police about, so I haven’t really left the flat in 10 Months.

When your safety net is destroyed, how do you stop yourself from falling?  [whohit]Terrified-of-the-police[/whohit]