The NHS Mental Health services in CRISIS

I’m so angry and frustrated right now! I had to write this post up on my social media to let my friends know… We need to speak up about these things!!!

Today I witnessed the crisis in the NHS in regards to mental health care.

Having spent all day with a friend of mine at A&E, after struggling with self-harm and overdosing, the crisis team said they wouldn’t see her until she had been assessed at the hospital.

I took her to hospital and whilst I struggled to get her through the door, I asked her to focus on her breathing, and slowly, we made our way closer to the front of the queue.

The doctor assessed her, and she was tacky with high acidity in her bloods. The doctor was worried about her passing out at any moment.

All she wanted to do was go home, or run away, and whilst I managed to keep her at the hospital, she spent the time self-harming, which I tried to prevent, then two hours on 2 drips to flush out the acidity.

She was then seen by two liaisons: a social worker and psychiatrist of whom, both decided to let her go.

Now, considering the state of her throughout the ordeal, there is absolutely no way she should have been discharged.

All the while she was frightened of being sectioned, she was also unable to go for a cigerette on her own, and yet they’ve discharged her hours after sitting in A&E.

The crisis team will be informed, but it is unlikely they’ll be able to do anything.

She should have been sectioned, and kept an eye on for even just 24 hours, but instead she’s been allowed home and will no doubt remain in the vulnerable state I left her in. I left her with her family, and she’s anxious about how they will treat her too.

She should have been thoroughly assessed, sectioned to work with correcting medication and finding/offering the best psychiatric support, and all the while I do believe that getting admitted to a psychiatric hospital does sod all to anyone with personality disorder, she needed to be kept safe for a good few days at least.

It was utterly heartbreaking to see her in this vulnerable state and I remained strong whilst I witnessed this trauma.

The only part about the process I was relieved about, was how quickly we were seen, we arrived at 1.30pm and we were seen just after 3pm, even though we were told there was over a 3 hour wait. We left the hospital at 7.30pm…

It just seems ludicrous to go through all of that to be sent home, where she could possibly end up doing it all again!

If you have been affected by the crisis, please share your stories. We need to speak up!

Thank you for reading.

Erica

@ghostwithinme

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Pills.

I’m on a tonne of medication, and I went to the GP today and asked about a number of things. One of which was trying to reduce one of my medication. He said that I have so much going on, that hed raather not reduce it when I seem to be doing well. It’s frustrating because I really thought I was ready to make a change, and at least reducing one of the medications.

Sometimes I wonder if the amount of stuff I take actually cause me more harm than good.

In fact, we already know that’s true. Most medications cause side effects, which then get alleviated by more pills, and then they need something to counteract more side effects and so on.

I’ve given up taking over the counter/off the shelf tablets for my migraines and pain. Paracetomol and ibroprofen just don’t work for me, and yet I still find myself popping the pills. I tell myself they no longer work, so why am I taking them?! I’ve decided to try my best in not taking any painkillers whenever I need them. This also means no codiene. Which is a good thing after I was relying on it to get me through therapy, and managed to break the cycle of knowingly over dosing on the drug.

The only pain reliever I will take is gabapentin which is for the nerve pain, and my muscle relaxant for relieving spasms, and for my chronic HC attack/migraine attacks, I’ll take almotriptan, which I’m so relieved helps but I have to ensure I’m able to lay down because of how it makes me feel!

Anyway, it makes me think about when I last tried going drug free. I managed it for about a week. That might not sound long, but for me – It was a very long week! I was glad to have achieved it, and gutted when I needed to go back on some to practically save my life. Ironically, this is the drug which I want to now try to reduce… And since then the medication begun to increase more and more.

I feel as though I’m in a “better place”, and whilst I may find some things difficult, I do feel as though I’m coping in a healthier way. I’m not so destructive, and although I do still struggle with understanding some people, I also understand how I too am extremely misunderstood.

I’m wanting to get off of all my medication to be “healthier”, and whilst that might seem crazy, I mean, I am healthier – in my mind, maybe… But try telling my body! At the end of the day, popping pills like candy will only do so much. I feel as though my body wants to be drug free, and whilst I may have a long way to go, I do hope one day, to once again achieve it.

It’s just a thought really. I asked my GP and he suggested not yet. Usually, I would be going in asking for medication to be increased, so I’m surprised by the reaction to not change it yet.

That’s all for now.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter for shorter updates: @ghostwithinme

Thanks!

Congrats to me!

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow readers of my blog…

I have some exciting news for you!

I received the result of my Animal Assisted Therapy course a couple of days ago.

I have been awarded a High Merit, and am now a qualified TRAINED PRACTITIONER in Animal-Assited Therapy!

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It’s pretty scary, but it’s been so amazing studying the subject and learning more about myself as well. I can’t wait to be able to help others, with my companion bunny!

It’s going to take a while to get my feet off the ground though as there’s a lot of work to be done. I’m trying to get in touch with the Princes Trust to see if their Enterprise Programme will help me, so I will keep you updated!

I hope you’ll continue to follow me on my venture in recovery and in recovering!

All the best,

@ghostwithinme

In this moment…

In this moment, I have so many thoughts racing through my mind.

I’m trying to slow them down by distracting myself by doing things, such as playing with the cats and rabbits, making tea and listening to music. Yet, I can’t drown out the thoughts which pound at my mind, causing a stress induced headache.

I’m tired. I feel like I fight my thoughts all the time. There are times where I feel so optimistic about things, and then suddenly all it takes is one simple thing to really over complicate things. But then, is is really over complicating the situation, or is it only how I feel, or make it?

Maybe, maybe I’m so used to things being so confusing and fractured, that if something appears to be going well, I do what I can to create a flaw? I try and be in the moment. Focus on what is happening now. I have goals. I have dreams. Which mean that there has been some improvement. Although, admittedly, I do still doubt myself quite a lot. Things like – Will I be able to work as my own employer? Will I be able to cope with the paperwork? Will I be able to manage stress? What about getting sick? What about people finding things out about me? Etc, etc.

These “in the moment” times are often tainted with reminders of things which have happened. I try so hard to move forward, but when things change in life which will affect the rest of your life, how else are you supposed to deal with it? Especially these changes should be positive ones, but they only create more webs in your fractured mind.

I mean, I’m dealing with things so much better than I used to. But there are times where I realise I still need to deal with things. Some things which I was unable to discuss in therapy, or just didn’t have the time or confidence to speak up about. After all, speaking about some things in a group setting were so anxiety provoking, it was inevitable to feel judged, thus wanting to hold back on a few things. Until it was too late, you’d discharged and suddenly all these overwhelming thoughts flood your mind and you wonder how you’re going to get by.

I’m getting by, sure. But every now and again, I find moments of these niggling feelings inside me. I feel judged, I feel watched. I feel as though someone is out to get me, or something is going happen. Sure, they’re paranoid thoughts, and ultimately unrealistic, but at the end of the day – How do I cope with them?

Taking time out to focus on my breathing. Feeling my feet firmly on the ground. Listening to the environment around me. A cat snoring, a rabbit chewing something they shouldn’t be, the dishwasher on a turn, and the tapping of the keys on the laptop as I write this out… Along with the banging in my head and the heaviness in my eyes as I just want to fall asleep.

In this moment, I feel as though I wonder why I try… Why I bother with things? I often create scenerios which are likely to do me, or those around me, more damage than good.

I worry that those I’m try to fix wrong doings with, will judge me on my past, or see me as having “changed too much”, or that there’s simply no way to change things.

Sure, I can’t change what has happened, but I can at least try to make amends. And for that, I feel as though it should be respected, that those around me should at least try too.

Maybe I’m overthinking it, which is most likely the case… Maybe with some things, I need to move forward and not try to fix the wrong doings. Maybe that all happened for a reason. What reason, I don’t know? Toxic relationships, trying to find out about myself, after all if it wasn’t for all my “issues”, I doubt I’d have ended up in therapy.

Though, saying that – I’ll always have a personality disorder. It’s something I have to learn to manage. (So I keep being told)

I have such an image in my mind about everything being perfect. With a tattoo reading “Nobody’s Perfect”, I see it as a constant reminder to myself that there is no such thing as perfection. So, why do I seek it so bad? Where has this “perfect world” come from? Why have I created it in my mind, and try so hard to seek it in reality?

My dreams are far from perfect. My dreams are often so surreal and backward, that I haven’t a clue what they’re trying to represent. My fantasy land seems to be the only place which is safe, but it’s also a place which isn’t real, and I need to stop fighting for it. I need to stop looking for my fantasy to become a reality. I can’t change things and I certainly can’t predict the future.

I can shape who I am today, from today. I still battle immensely with my self identity, but knowing what my dream career is, that has given me something to hold on to.

It’s now convincing myself I have what it takes.

I need to stop wasting my life away.

I need to breathe.

I need to focus on what matters in the here and now, and not what I should be doing to try and change things for the sake of others.

This is my life. And I need to make it happen.

#icandoit

#onestepatatime

Thanks for reading.
Remember if you want to follow my shorter posts, I have a twitter account! In under 144 characters, Twitter allows us to create an online, open diary. Click here to add me: @ghostwithinme

In Print!

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks!

Walking through the Marlowe Arcade in Canterbury on 21st July, I was greeted by the surprise of my artwork up on show!

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I can’t believe I placed 2nd in the Adult category as the other entrants work were simply outstanding! I hate trying to compliment my own work, as it makes me feel (and I think I sound) big headed, but I was really pleased with the outcome of my piece. Whilst I do not believe mine should have fallen 2nd place, I can see how different my piece was compared to the others. My artwork is more illustrative, compared to the hands on flickers of acrylic paint and fine lined pencil art. The work was so different, that it’s incomparible as to quality or artistry. I’m overwhelmed, and I guess I’m just extremely modest when it comes down to being able to acknowledge my own work, when I see so much greatness in the work around me.

IMG_0646Then, only a few days ago, I received the latest Mind charity brochure, and as I’m flicking through the pages, find myself in there! It was funny because I hadn’t received any notification that it was due to be printed, so I was thrilled to see that my achievements of organising a Crafternoon with such issues had been acknowledged and not just by Mind, but by those who know me. I think many people see me as putting on a front, that they don’t know what I dealt with on a daily basis, and that they see how arts and crafts have a positive impact on my mental health, even if I do get faffy about being a perfectionist when drawing a straight line without a ruler!

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So, I feel like I’ve outdone myself lately… My Dad’s saying I’m famous! (I don’t think I’m that famous yet!!)

Not too sure what I can do to top this… Oh wait.

Hopefully getting my name on a certificate for Animal-Assisted Therapy, which will enable me to practice. Hmm, well… Maybe I will get the certificate, but as for actually working, I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet. I’ve actually contacted The Princes Trust, to see if they can help support me and my career goals. I just about fit in the age limit for their help, and I’m really hoping this will give me the support (I know) I need! I have my fingers crossed. I’ll just need to get over the anxiety of getting to the meetings. I’m just trying to think that those attending the meetings will, most likely, be feeling exactly the same way.

Anyway, hopefully I won’t leave it another two weeks before the next post.

Thanks for following, if indeed you still are 😉

Don’t forget, if I haven’t bored you already, you can follow me on Twitter as well for more “brief” updates! Click here: @ghostwithinme