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Feeling in an unsafe place


Rollercoaster
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There are lots of pressures right now, and added to that promises of support which (again) have failed to materialise (from mental health services). There is a history of this; someone senior (in this case my psychiatrist) decides I need support from community mental health services and says he will make sure it is put in place - but it isn't.

This time (again) it is triggering in all my abandonment stuff. Last night I was contemplating exit routes. I'm not today, but I am scared by how quickly I was able to work out a plan to end it all and how easy it would be to carry through.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Rollercoaster,

I am sorry and even alarmed to read about the frustrations you are having getting help. I do not know about the UK but, could you go to the emergency room of your hospital and tell them you are seriously depressed and suicidal? Here, in the U.S. that is usually a good way to get help when all else seems impossible.

Anyway, I think this is something you need to do because you are feeling unsafe. Can you call in an emergency and report that you are suicidal and will an ambulance be sent to bring you to the hospital if you cannot go yourself?

Get help now.

Do others have experience with the UK and getting help for depression?

Allan

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Thank you.

Tonight I am not in the position of needing immediate help. If I were to go to A&E I would face a long wait (several hours), possibly be seen by a psychiatric nurse, then be sent home. I'd be told to contact my GP - or even that Community services would get in touch (but they wouldn't). Believe me, I've seen how the system works. Our local inpatient facility is one I have been told to stay away from as it is "not therapeutic" - this by nhs staff. It's a process of fobbing off. For as longa s I can I will stay away from it. I am due to see my GP tomorrow and will let her know how hard things are - I may even write it down as I know how hard I can find it to talk about.

Thank you for replying.

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I am in the US .. and I agree.. The emergency room??? OH please!!! They say goto such and such place tomorrow... You show up... they treat you like a pain.....

JT

PS I am not up on "drugs""" so my first overdose I took 3 boxes of over the counter sleeping meds... they actually made fun of me....that made me feel REAL good....

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Thank you JT.

I was able to talk to my GP about these feelings. She is lovely and was entirely compassionate and gentle. As these feelings keep hitting me in the evenings, I'm going to take my night time a-d earlier, as soon as I get home, and see how that helps.

She's also going to fax my psychiatrist to ask what is happening about the promised Community Mental Health support.

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I had contact from my psychiatrist today, seemingly as a response to my GP's intervention. Clearly nothing has happened to date, but he has now said that he has made contact with the community mental health team and they will allocate a care coordinator next week.

I saw my T today. It was an emotional session. I told her (in more detail than I told my GP) about my plans. She asked me to keep safe, asked me to make a promise that I would try to keep safe, told me it mattered to her that I was OK. She also asked me to take my store of leftover meds to the chemist. I did it today, but now feel rather bereft without them.

I'm tired of being all over the place, and tired of being tired. I wish I could believe all the things people say about how I matter, but it is so very hard to do.

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Really not doing well tonight.

Rough day at work today - I teach and the technological stuff all seemed against me, as did the kids. Know it was my fault.

Wish I hadn't handed in all my meds to the chemist yesterday.

Not sure what to do with myeslf. Have taken the max recommended dose of my meds. Now on self medicaiton.

I hate myself.

Hubbie is about to go out which on one level makes no difference but also leaves me more vulnerable.

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I hope you are okay today! I know exactly how you feel about being vulnerable and not knowing where to turn. I've been going through the same thing lately myself. The world is full of people and when I get vulnerable I feel so alone. It seems all we would need to do is walk outside our front door. But it isn't that easy, is it.

I do hope you find somewhere to turn, and please stay safe. xxx

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I know right now this is the LAST thing you want to do... but are there any groups you could join??? Or perhaps take a class at the library or something? I understand you would have to DRAG yourself there... but sometimes it helps to try to get something on your mind.. whether it be a craft or a book club... or group therapy would be great... I need to do this myself.. when you leave the hospital here they have an after care program.. I do not know if they would let me go now... but sometimes they have groups that meet and there is a therapist there.. about once a week or every 2 weeks and you can talk.. or just listen and know that you are not alone....

How much of this do you think is related to the change in weather... or the "Holidays" ? Or has something happened that I missed....

Right now... when Hubs is around all I want to do is sleep... but he is being mean right now.... Having some marriage problems... then there is the kids, MOM in the hospital. my sisters , the dogs, One is real sick... Got this THING I am suppose to start Tuesday... My BIRTH MOM died not too long ago.. got one 1/2 sister just out of the hospital.. my niece is pregnant and on crack.... and I could go on... too many things happening right now....

I fight depression almost everyday.. some days I give in.. I stay in bed... I have to get up to give the dog meds... and feed and water the rest .. but other than that I do not HAVE to do anything...

Exercise is good... I use to do aerobics.. with my VCR.. Yep I am that old!!:)

Do you take any vitamins.... B complex and fish oil ( Omega 3's) are good.

But keep posting .... I care!

JT

Still sorta high jacked!!! I said I was WORKING on it!!!:)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Rollercoaster,

I agree with much of what has been said. It is really important that you do not listen to yourself when you find excuses to not go out, like its raining. It is important that you go out, see people, talk to people, and find ways to socialize.

However, I do not remember if you are getting help with your depression or not. I want to urge you to go for help, medication and psychotherapy if you are not already doing those things.

Today, depression is treatable and, from what you write, it appears that you have many of the symptoms of depression.

Are you getting psychological and psychiatric help??

Allan

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Thanks both of you.

I have been on antidepressants for years. Various types, various doses. Am currently into week4 of yet another med change in an attempt to find what will help. Yes, the winter makes it worse. Lack of light etc.

I work full time - I am a teacher - so am getting out in the day and certainly interacting with people. By the time evening comes I am shattered, but I go to a Yoga class once a week, the gym once a week and am about to start an evening course (first session tomorrow). I'm trying to do what I can to help myself.

I am having counselling / psychotherapy. I am relatively new to this particular counsellor but trust her a lot and am trying to be honest with her. I have had other sessions of psychotherapy and counselling in the past. I have recently remembered details of childhood abuse and am struggling to deal with that. I dissociate; this makes the therapy harder.

Despite all this I feel I will never escape the feelings I have. It is too hard at times.

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sounds like you are doing all the right things.... just hang in there.. and post to us if you need extra support... I try to hit this site everyday.. sometimes all I can do is give a cyber hug... but sometimes that helps....

JT

edited to ad... you all that work and leave the house .. amaze me... I can not do that... although tomorrow I am suppose to start .....

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I don't know if this will help, but it's my story and what I've learned from it. I will try to be brief.

Several years ago, I went to the Emergency Room here in Reno, NV, and they not only treated me like dirt, the doctor actually yelled at me for being weak! He called the police and I ended up in the psych ward of the state mental hospital, surrounded by truly disturbed people. Not people just dealing with life and depression, but people who were having conversations with walls and the like. that was it. I'd had it. I had tried medication, therapy, screaming, crying, writing, talking, walking, running... nothing worked. I knew I wasn't as bad off as the people in the Psych Ward, but didn't know what to do for myself. That was when it hit me... I wasn't doing anything for myself. I was looking for someone outside of me to take care of the problem. That made me angry enough to start working toward something, but I still didn't know what that something was. I started doing whatever felt right. I'd read a book about our "internal navigator"... and being a former navigator of US Navy Submarines, that hit home. The point of the book was that there is a natural center that humans gravitate toward, a point of calm that exists in all of us, but some of us have more trouble accessing that state. It related the idea that the world around us isn't what makes us happy or sad... it is how we view the world. I know that sounds simplistic, but it made sense to me and I'd never thought of it that way. I'd spent so much time thinking about how the world was messed up and how it and the people in it had hurt me, that I lost sight of anything good and hopeful.

I titled this Broken Camera because there was another thought in that book that made alot of sense to me. The idea is that when we are depressed, we can't see the world as it is, we only see it through a negative filter. It is as if the 'camera' through which we see the world is broken. All we can see is the bad, dark, scary stuff. All of which is real, but it is not all that is real. Does that make sense? I've come up with another analogy that I've used on this site, I call it the worm in the apple principle. When we are depressed, or anxious, we are like a worm in an apple. All we can see from our perspective is the darkness that is all around us. We struggle and fight to move through this darkness, but seem to be getting nowhere. If we give up the struggle we stay stuck in the 'apple'. But, if we keep working through it, eating through the darkness of the 'apple' eventually we break through and back out into the light of day. It isn't until we are out of the 'apple' that we can gain some perspective; how big the 'apple' was, how the rest of the world seems in relation to it, and so on. My point being that when we are seeing the world through our depressed 'filter', we CANNOT just shake off our mood, or our dark thoughts. All we can do is keep working to get out of the 'apple'. That may mean exercise, writing, crying, screaming, talking, painting, singing... anything that works.

I am very glad that you are seeing a therapist, and it sounds like she understands and has compassion. That is key. Keep talking to her, there is nothing you can say that she won't want to hear, and that is a lovely thing for someone who is feeling like you are right now. And remember, it is only for right now... it WILL go away, the world will seem right again. Try to remember any happy times you've had, and just know that it's still the same world in which you had those good times... it is just hard to see it through a broken camera.

I hope this hits you in the right way. I am usually much better at communicating in person. I'd love to be able to sit and talk with you, to answer specific questions, not as an expert, but as someone who has been where you are, who can relate to what you are going through, and who can assure you that it will pass.

Be gentle to yourself,

Keep writing,

-Jimmyfay2

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JT, thank you for understanding. I do try to help myself but sometimes it all feels too much.

Jimmy - thank you too. I think I understand what you are saying. I know my current attitude is much of the problem - I was doing OK till a week ago but the pressures just got too much and I am sinking without trace. You know when you get too tired to swim any more and start to sink? Well, that is how I feel. My desparation is that I know nobody else can make me feel OK - but I don't seem to be able to do that either. I try all the CBT stuff, all the focusing on the present etc - but I am that worm and it is a pumpkin not an apple, and I can't even work out which way I should be going - I think I just keep going round in circles. I don't think I am looking for pity. I truly want to believe it can be better for me, but I truly don't believe that just now. So I am hanging on as best I can, scrabbling for a lifeline, hoping my strength doesn't give out before I reach safety.

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The harshest thing about depression is the desperate desire to be content again, and the total inability to make that happen. One of my favorite concepts is contained in the phrase " you can't push the river ". That ties into your image of being so tired you can't swim anymore. When I was in the Navy I learned one big thing about being in deep water for a long time... the more you struggle against it the faster you go under. In hopeless situations, like being lost at sea, often your best hope is to stop struggling and let yourself float. The idea that you can't push the river, to me, simply means that the more you struggle against the current of your life, the faster you will tire out. More than that, the river knows where it's going, even if you don't. If you are constantly struggling against the current, you spend so much energy trying to get back to where you were, up river, that you miss out on the beauty that is passing by on the shores on either side of you.

I bet by now you're wishing I'd stop with the zen imagery, huh? I think the reason I use imagery so much is that it can apply to anybody's situation. I don't know the specifics of your life, but I know how depression can sap your energy, empty your soul and grind you down. I found that by letting go of expectations ( wishing I was over it now, wishing I was happy again, wishing things were different in my life ) and just existing in my darkness, I started to find new ways of seeing the world and my depression. I started writing down the little glimmers of hope that sometimes would pop into my head for no apparent reason. I started to let go of the old ideas that shaped the belief system that got me into the dark hole I was living in.

I am just throwing ideas at you right now, because I know from experience that you never know what's going to spark the change in your thinking that will eventually reshape your world, and your experience of it. It was a million little things that came together to help me, a million little phrases that I heard or read or came up with, a million little images that helped me through and out of my depression.

Another thing I want you to realize is that you really can't force yourself out of your depression. When I asked you to be gentle with yourself, it's the same kind of tenderness you would give yourself if you had the flu. You can't make the flu go away, you just have to live through it. Same goes for depression... with the emphasis on living through it. The worst things that can happen to you with depression are temporary. Eventually, the darkness will lift and you will see the world in a whole new light... the simple fact that you are reaching out to others shows that hope is still alive in you. You are heading in the right direction, even if you can't see it. I know you feel lost in the apple, or pumpkin, but think of it this way ( back to the worm analogy for a moment )... if the worm didn't eat away at the darkness around it, it wouldn't have the energy needed to eventually escape it. Often times in life, the heavier the load you are forced to carry, the stronger you become as a result of the effort.

I'll stop launching platitudes at you from the Nevada desert now...

Take care of yourself... and I hope to "talk" to you again soon,

Jimmyfay2

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Very good advice here.

You can't make the flu go away, you just have to live through it. Same goes for depression... with the emphasis on living through it. The worst things that can happen to you with depression are temporary.

What you are saying reminds me of when I went to school and the only thing that helped was to reach the end of the semester. There was something else I wanted to say here but now I have forgotten. :(

You are heading in the right direction, even if you can't see it. I know you feel lost in the apple, or pumpkin, but think of it this way ( back to the worm analogy for a moment )... if the worm didn't eat away at the darkness around it, it wouldn't have the energy needed to eventually escape it. Often times in life, the heavier the load you are forced to carry, the stronger you become as a result of the effort.

There is a quote similar to what you just said above. It's by Friedrich Nietzsche (with truth being reality and not what we see through the broken camera), "On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow."

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