Tag Archives: PTSD

This weeks Dr Barry appointment was intense

I didnt go to college today. I am depressed. I’ve been having severe flashbacks. I couldnt face it. But I did see Dr Barry. I knew I had to go to see her to talk about all this. I went in there and sat down heavily and sighed.
Dr Barry: How are you today? How was your week?
Me: Oh dr barry, I feel awful. I’m depressed and suicidal.
She was shocked and concerned. Tell me about it? She said softly and gently. So I did.
I’ve been having awful flashbacks of the assault I suffered a year ago. For those who dont know or who arent aware, I was raped around last April. Basically, some people from my past, abusers, did it. So far no bodys been prosecuted. I told Dr Barry that I feel disgusting, and so worthless. I feel like I am just an object to be used and abused. And I almost cried but was able to hold the tears in. I told dr barry I’d emailed eileen last night. And before I’d left today to go to dr barry eileen had emailed me back and tried to reassure me. I was glad to get her email but I did not feel better even with her gentle and kind reassurances that I am not an object, that we can work through this, that she is here for me, and that I’ll be ok. I just felt flat, low, bla, like I was not able to cope.
Dr Barry listened, before softly telling me that its ok not to be ok. That I am way too hard on myself. That I put way too much pressure on myself to be a model patient. She said sometimes it takes time to deal with things, and its ok if I couldnt all along, I said I wasnt ready, and she reassured me that thats ok. Things only come out when we feel safe, and when we’re ready to share them. I then told her how I’d wanted to tell her months ago about my partner and talk about her illness and how I felt about that with her, but words failed me. I said how I knew she’d put so much into building a relationship with me, dr barry had, and how I felt that I was holding back and withholding information that was important. She said I should give myself a break, I should not try to be a model patient, that I’ve been doing great, but its ok to not do great too. I told her how my family are pressuring me to stay ok, and because they see me coping and being ok and having some good days, they then dont want me to have a bad day. She asked me if I told them that everyone has bad days, we cant all be ok all of the time. I said I had but they still dont seem to grasp it or get it. She said its their inability to understand the challenges I face and that I’ll probably never change them. I sighed and not for the first time wished I could have Dr Barry as my mom.
We talked about possibly adding a medication if the depression doesnt lift. She thought about the options and I was saying how most of the meds dont or havent worked for me. And then there is the added problem of remembering to take them. I was taking sertraline, but I have been off it for a while now. I was also taking lyrica but I no longer take that one either. I do take xeplion and in the end she said she’d increase that one. And she said I could get the next dose a week earlier than I was supposed to. So instead of taking 100 MG I’ll be taking 150 MG of that med starting next week. I hope it does something and is worth while. I was telling her how lately, the last two times I’ve gotten the injection, that I start out feeling good and then two weeks into the cycle I start to feel down, anxious, unstable. She said she hadnt heard anyone else say that but its possible.
She asked me if I wanted to sit down with her and talk about the police report that she was meant to do up after last years assault. I said some time I’d like to as we’ve not given the report to the police yet, and she hasnt fully written it, its just a draft and she wants to get my input as to what I want them to know about our did. So that needs to be done soon too.
Other than that she said Mark had texted her yesterday afternoon after the meeting we had in the morning, and told her it was really positive and I’d done really well advocating for myself and she was really pleased for me. I didnt know Mark was gonna do that. I thought he’d just leave a note in my file.
It was a good appointment though and I feel much better after it.

talked today to Dr barry, dissociation on my mind

Had my weekly appointment today with Dr Barry. I discussed the intense episode of dissociation that I had last week. Not sure if I mentioned it but I had a really intense episode of dissociation, culminating in us wandering the streets at midnight. Luckily we were brought home and everything turned out ok. But it could have been far worse and that was really brought home to be upon thinking about it and reflecting on it. Dr Barry was concerned, she asked me how often I get dissociative fugue, I told her once every couple of months, like I think the last really bad episode was about 4 months ago. She said she thinks it was the stress and anxiety about starting college, along with a trigger date last Monday which brought it on. I told her Eileen had said that in therapy this week we’d discuss it. She knows I find the ritual abuse really hard to talk about. I do talk to her about it at times, and I’ve given her some of my writing on the subject before. I’m able to write about it in much more detail than I can talk about it. She said that it would be better if I discussed it in therapy rather than bringing too much up today and becoming overwhelmed because it may lead to me decompensating and having another episode. So we just talked around the date, not going into much detail about the abuse. That was ok with me. Its a good thing there are people in my life who know about my did, who know me and have known me for years, who know when I’m not ok and can manage it and dont get panicked or overwhelmed. I am grateful to have such caring friends in my life. Dr Barry said as much to me too. The rest of our appointment was spend talking about the weight loss that I’m doing. I told her I hadnt lost any weight last week that I’d maintained. And how disappointed I was because of that. She said losing weight is not easy, there are so many aspects to it, the body has so much to cope with, between hormones, and all the different systems in the body trying to work at once. She said at least I didnt gain, I guess she has a point. Other than those two things I told her about my first week at college and how that was going. She was eager to hear all about it. We set another appointment for 4 PM next wednesday and she wished me luck for my therapy session tomorrow. I thought that was so sweet of her.

TRIGGERED SO DOING THIS. OBSERVING AND DESCRIBING EMOTIONS WORKSHEET

FEELING INTENSE EMOTION RIGHT NOW. AM REALLY TRIGGERED. SENT EILEEN A TEXT TELLING HER I FELT OVERWHELMED AND EMOTIONAL AND TRIGGERED. DIDNT HAVE WORDS TO TELL HER WHY. SHE’LL UNDERSTAND. SAW THIS ON ANOTHER BLOG AND DECIDED I’D TRY AND FILL IT OUT. HERE GOES.

Name: LIZ Date: 8/27/15

Primary Emotions: SADNESS, ANGER, OVERWHELM, DESPAIR Intensity (0-100): 90

Prompting event (for emotion, who what, where, when):

WAS HAVING FLASHBACKS. THEY CAME ON SUDDENLY. REMEMBERED STUFF AROUND MY ABUSE. STUFF ABOUT BEING RAPED. COULDNT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD AND SPIRALED THEN.

Interpretation (beliefs, assumptions, and appraisals of the situation):

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING, IT CANT BE. ITS NOT FAIR. I HATE FLASHBACKS, I HATE MEMORIES, I WISH IT WOULD JUST STOP.

Body changes and sensing: FEELING LIKE PUNCHING SOMEONE, PREFERABLY MY ABUSERS, WANTING TO CRY, FEELING ALONE AND FRUSTRATED.

Body Language (facial expression, posture, gestures): EYES TEARING UP, SCREWING UP MY FACE, HITTING MY HAND ON THE TABLE

Action Urges (what did I feel like doing, what did I want to say):

PUNCHING SOMEONE, CRYING, LASHING OUT, REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE, CUTTING.. Taking PILLS. .

What I said or did in the situation:

EMAILED MY THERAPIST, DRANK A CUP OF COFFEE, LOOKED AT MY EMAIL, PATTED NITRO.

After Effects (secondary emotions, memories, thoughts, state of mind, behavior):

THE ANGER TURNED TO OVERWHELMING SADNESS ONCE THE RAGE SUBSIDED. FELT LIKE JUST CRYING MY EYES OUT. NEEDED A HUG FROM SOMEONE.

(expectations) and the root emotion (anger.)

Function of Emotion: ????

Other possible interpretations:

I SHOULD USE MY COPING SKILLS, IF I DO, THEN PERHAPS I’LL FEEL LESS INTENSE EMOTIONS AND BE LESS TRIGGERED.

New Intensity (0-100): 50

Appointment with my OT Mark

I met with our OT Mark today. We had met two weeks ago and started a plan for going back to college. Basically we did a kinda care plan and a plan of action around my anxietys. Its called anticipation and preparation. Today we were just finishing it off. I almost didnt make it this morning, as I went to bed quite late and so when it came time to get up I was being lazy. But eventually I got out the door and I’m so glad I did. Mark has written everything out in a kinda bullet point format. He’s going to email it to me as soon as he gets a chance. Then it will be up to me what I do with it. I plan on giving a copy to my key worker in college, and I told Mark to put a copy in my file for Dr Barry to read. I also plan on sharing it here and with some other friends. Mark suggested that once I start college that instead of me going to meet him once a month at the day hospital, he could come to me instead. This I thought was a great idea. It will also save me some money on taxi costs. The school are ok with him coming to see me there too. They know him as he’s attended meetings on my behalf with the manager of the college and the college psychologist. It actually makes sense for him to come to me otherwise I’d be trying to get to our appointment for 8:15 AM and then on to college and I’d be about an hour late as the classes start at 9 AM. Mark told me that between now and my start date if I need anything to feel free to call him and he even said that next week if anything comes up for me and I needed to see him he would be able to slot me in. I doubt I’ll need to see him though before I start. I will probably call him after my first day though just to let him know how it all went.

Todays appointments with both Karen R and Dr Barry

I went this afternoon to meet Karen R, who used to be dr Barrys social worker, but who is now team leader. She still does some social work though, but mostly when people are in patients in the hospital. She kept one or two of her former clients when she changed positions, and luckily we were one of the people she kept as a client. Today we met up to talk about the funding for transportation, and also I had recently applied to the same organisation who fund my transportation for some extra hours for an aid to help me with housework etc. So we had to discuss the logistics of all that. Karen asked me what I wanted to use the hours for if I got them, as the case manager in the organisation who is going to provide the funding wanted to know. I said I’d like to get some extra help around my house, with coleaning, as having a dog who sheds hair a lot its near impossible to keep the place clean unless its vacumed almost every day. So there is that. Then I also told Karen I wanted to join spinning classes and need a ride to get there so the aid could help with that too possibly. So she wrote those things down and she’s going to send an email back to my case manager about it. We also talked about the ongoing appointments that I have, as the case manager had said if the organisation had a clear schedule of when I needed taxi’s they could reinstate my funding for them. So we figured that I need them for my appointments weekly with Dr Barry and Karen O the nutritionist, and once a month for my appointment with Mark the OT. We also put in that I may use them to go to the basement club but that it wont be that regularly once college starts up. We didnt want to leave it out of the costs though as then I’d never be able to go unless I payed my own taxi fare. Karen said that she’s going to send another email with this info to the case manager, and in the email she’s going to tell him that she’s happy to write to him once a month with the journeys I’ve taken, so that he has a record of how often I am using the taxi’s, so its on file. I was happy with this idea and I think its a good idea and I hope he will too.
After the appointment with Karen I saw Dr Barry. A lot of our appointment was taken up with me telling her about the stress of last week, when I came in she said she’d been reading my notes and saw all what took place about the funding for taxi’s, and the school stuff. I told her I never ever want to go through that level of stress again. I told her my mom had been an invaluable support to me during last weeks crisis. She noted that my mom and I seem to be getting along much better nowadays than say a year ago. She said she noticed how our relationship has changed. I agreed. In the past year mom and us have gotten along far better than we’ve ever done in the past. We talk more, do things together more, she’s more of a support to me in so many ways. We have a much better mother daughter relationship. Whereas before she got on well with my sister and not so much with me, that dynamic has changed and I am so thankful for that. Dr Barry asked me if I was excited about starting school. I was like yep I cant wait. I talked to her about Mondays therapy session. I told her we’d worked with some triggered parts around triggers surrounding school and their anxiety around that. She thought that it was great that we’d spent time working with these triggered parts. She said that even with the stress of last week, that it shows a great level of healing that I went to therapy on Monday and spent the majority of the time working with the triggers and triggered insiders. Of course we did talk about the stress of last week but the whole session wasnt spent on that. She kept saying to me how resourceful I am and how she knows Eileen says this all the time, and she is just echoing eileen on that. She said I have huge potential and am really intelligent and that will stand to me. I told her I was a little worried too about starting and it not working out due to past experiences in education where it didnt work out for me. I told her my mom is kinda pressuring me to do well, and for things to work out. How she is saying I need to grab this opportunity, see it through, live my olife. I told her my mom doesnt have words for a lot of things but she uses phrases like its your life, your getting older not younger, you need to take this opportunity and see it through to tell me how she feels. She doesnt have words for the issues surrounding my mental illness. But the other day she did say to me that I was doing really well with all of my issues. That was her way of saying I am proud of you without actually saying it to me. I told Dr Barry that there is no way I could sit at home doing nothing all day every day. She agreed that this would not be a good idea so she was glad the school situation worked out for me. I told her I dont care what mental illness I have, I am determined and I will not let it beat me. She said I was really high functioning and that made me so proud. I work so hard to be high functioning and not let my mental illness drag me down. Dr Barry said that I am more than my illness. My mom thinks so too but she just doesnt have the words to say it in the same way Dr Barry does. Today Dr Barry said to me what my mom is trying to say is I am more than being unwell, I am more than my hospitalisations etc. I told Dr Barry that I am grateful every day for my whole team. They keep me ticking over, stable, because of them I can lead a very full and rich life. If I did not have the weekly support from both Dr Barry and Eileen I may be in a different position. I said I know that most service users dont get the same level of support that I do and I know how incredibly lucky I am. In a way my diagnosis of did as complex as it is allows me to have the extra support. For that I will always be grateful. Allie wanted to have a little time to talk to Dr Barry today but we ran out of time so it will have to wait until next week. I did tell her how Eileen had read the in my heart book to the kids on Monday. I didnt go into too much detail as I wanted to let allie tell her herself. It was a great appointment, very productive as always.