I’ve just spent the last hour and a half purging after a massive binge. I hate myself and I disgust myself. I’m disgusted by the amount I eat and by how horrid my body is but I’m also disgusted by the whole binge purge cycle. I want to get out of it but I feel so guilty if I eat and don’t purge. I am trying to track my eating but I’m not sure that’s having any effect. I feel a mild high now that I’ve puked everything back up. I wonder if that is part of what keeps it going. Hearing voices doesn’t help when I’m like this. They’re always negative and tell me what I don’t want to hear. I think they help keep the cycle going. I feel such a mess at the moment.
I’m on my way back home from my parent’s house after the Christmas break. Things aren’t great. I feel so much self hatred just now. I just binged and purged. It’s not something I’ve written about in this blog before but my eating is somewhat disordered. When I feel stressed I restrict then binge then purge then go through the cycle again. I hate it but I don’t feel I can control it. Besides, there is a little part of me that likes it – I feel a mild high since I just purged. Is that normal?
Of course, having weight issues isn’t helped by having to take antipsychotics. I’ve gained so much weight since I started taking them ten years ago. It doesn’t make me happy. I’m currently on Aripiprazole which is supposed to have less of a weight gain problem than some of the others but I’ve been on the others and they caused me to gain and gain. The binges don’t help and, although I purge, I’m sure I’m not getting rid of all the calories. So I restrict and then I binge because I’m starving. I seem to be stuck in this viscious circle.
I forgot about my depot before I came home so I’m going to have to try and sort that out next week. I’ll try to see my care coordinator. She’ll ask about the b/p but I don’t know why she bothers when they never do anything to try to help me. I’ve got a self help book and a food tracking app. I’m trying to use those to get a handle on it but it’s hard without support.
At the moment I have mixed feelings. Generally my life is going well but I feel stuck in self destructive behaviours which could jeapordise that in the future. I’m a bit worried. I need occupational health clearance before I can go on placement. I hope I get it.
I haven’t written in this blog for a while as there hasn’t really been anything to write about. It’s just after New Year though and I’m struggling a bit so I thought I’d put down some thoughts.
I always find this time of year stressful. This year, as usual, I’ve coped with the stress by binging and purging. It’s not healthy and I want to stop I just find it difficult. It’s some sort of stress coping mechanism. How it works I’m not sure but I have decided I’m going to stop. I’ve bought a book on overcoming binge eating and downloaded an app to track my eating. I hope that through these I can get a handle on it and start to feel in control.
My depression medication seems to be working okay and I don’t feel depressed. The voices aren’t too bad at the moment. Just repeating the usual rubbish. I can cope with them. I just hope that stays the case.
It’s been a while since I wrote in this blog. I’ve been busy. I’m back at uni for my third year training to be an occupational therapist. This has thrown up a number of things I’ve been thinking about. I have my final placement coming up in January and have a meeting in a couple of weeks to discuss placement support. I know that at that the suggestion of disclosing my condition to my placement educator (PE) will come up. I don’t think I want to but I need time off for blood tests and antipsychotic injections as well as meetings with my CPN. Will it be easier to get support from my PE if s/he knows of my condition? I suppose it would be but I am also fearful that it will prejudice them against me and assume I can’t cope as I have a “severe mental illness”. I would have expected occupational therapists to have a reasonably informed view of mental illness and not be too judgemental but a comment from one of my classmates the other day led to my questioning this view. We had to discuss a case study of a man with schizophrenia and she said he would be a danger if he wasn’t taking his medication. I take my meds but the overall view this gave me just made my heart sink. I didn’t challenge her – I was too embarrassed (or possibly ashamed) to admit to being a voice hearer. Even if I hadn’t admitted this, just pointed out the assumptions she was making then I fear she would have wondered how I knew and why I cared so I stayed silent. I guess that contributes to the problem as much as anything. I am new to this class and no one is aware that I hear voices. I am scared of them finding out as I fear being ostracised or even pitied. There is a feeling that people with disabilities are the other and while I should challenge this perception I am scared to.
Anyway, should I disclose my bipolar disorder diagnosis to my PE or not? I am undecided at the moment.
I had my CPA review a couple of days ago. A lot of positive things were said and I left quite heartened by it. My CPN said she will try to arrange that I get prescriptions for more than three days and she is going to refer me for CBT for my social anxiety. The first thing she asked me was if I was aware of my diagnosis. I said I was unsure and she told me what it was – bipolar affective disorder with emotionally unstable personality disorder. Am I unlucky to have both? How do I tell the difference? I’m not sure I agree with the personality disorder. I don’t think I’m particularly emotionally unstable. I have mood swings and I respond to those but I don’t really get angry or emotionally expressive. I don’t have problems with close relationships and I don’t think I suffer from a fear of abandonment. The only criterion I think I do meet is for regular self harm but that’s always done in the context of a low mood and voices urging me on. I don’t think diagnoses are an exact science anyway so I’m not sure these things are helpful. I was surprised by the emphasis my care coordinator put on it.
The worst part of my review was the psychiatrist suggesting I go back onto Clozapine. I don’t want to. As a drug it stole two years of my life. I can’t face the sleepiness, the weight gain and the restlessness again. The doctor said it took away the voices and made you stable. I told him it took away my emotions completely and left me sleeping almost all the time. I wasn’t self harming but I also wasn’t doing much of anything else. It turned me into a zombie and I don’t want to go back to that. I had no quality of life. I declined Clozapine. I’d rather live with the voices and the mood swings than being a completely empty shell like I felt I was when I was on Clozapine before. He suggested that it may affect me differently this time. It may, but I’m not willing to take the chance. I’m trying to get my life back together again. I don’t want that handicap.
There was also some discussion on whether I should return to therapy. I don’t mind doing so if it is useful. The problem I have had with it before is when it’s in a group. I struggle to contribute. I hate speaking and only speak when asked. I can never think of anything to say probably because I get so nervous. The voices are also a problem during group therapy. They never like me revealing things about myself and try and stop me doing so. They are usually quite bad afterwards and I feel like I’m being punished. Anyway, I’m not sure I can return to therapy because I abandoned it before. I’ll wait and see what my care coordinator says.
All in all the review was mixed but better than I was expecting. I left feeling reasonably happy and like I’d been listened to and that can only be a good things.
It’s been an up and down kind of a day. I went to try and collect my repeat prescription and found that it wasn’t ready. I went to the surgery to try to sort it out and was told to come back in the afternoon. When I went back in the afternoon I found that, yet again, my prescription wasn’t ready and was told to make an appointment with the doctor. The thought of another appointment with him made me really anxious and my voices went a bit mad telling me that he wasn’t going to give me the prescription as he hated me and wanted me to commit suicide. I had to wait over an hour and while I was in the waiting room the voices were intense. I became convinced I was waiting this long as he wasn’t going to see me because he really did want me to die. The voices kept mocking me and telling me I didn’t matter and that nobody cared whether I lived or died. Eventually I was called through and was surprised to find the GP was actually helpful. I felt a great sense of relief and the voices calmed down. I got a prescription for three days. He said he will send the prescription to the pharmacy every three days for me to collect from there. I doubt it will happen but at least I don’t feel so scared of him.
I think this illustrates the effect that my mood and emotions have on the voices. They’re very sensitive to how I’m feeling and if I begin to feel even a little low they start to play upon it. A low mood makes the voices worse and the voices make my mood worse. It’s a neverending cycle and once I start into that spiral it takes a lot to get out of it. I’m trying to use the antidepressant I’m on to try to counteract this and keep my mood on a decent level. It seems ironic that it’s trying to get the medication that is causing me so much anxiety that my symptoms get worse. Having a supportive GP would help so much. I’ve had them in the past but my current one doesn’t really seem to know how to handle mental health issues. Maybe there should be more training for GPs. Until then I’ll just have to put up with the one I’ve got and hope that in future he treats me with a little more respect.
Tomorrow I need to collect my repeat prescription. This shouldn’t be a source of anxiety but it is. I have a dreadful GP. Last week I went to collect my prescription and found there had been an error and the pharmacy didn’t have the prescription because the GP surgery were saying that it was too soon for me to order a repeat. They had made a mistake and were claiming that the last time I ordered a prescription was the 13th of November 2015 so I couldn’t get another prescription till after that. I thought this could be sorted out easily and agreed when the receptionist told me I’d have to see the GP. When I saw him however he was rude and aggressive. He denied there had been an error and refused to give me a repeat. I tried pointing out it was only July but to no avail. I went back to the pharmacy and eventually they convinced him to give me a three day prescription. That will run out tomorrow. I need a repeat but I don’t know if I’ll get it. I’m anxious about seeing the GP as he was so unpleasant the last time. None of this is helping my mental health.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had a bad experience with this GP. I want to change doctors but the last time I tried I was turned away by two different surgeries as they told me that I wouldn’t be accepted as I already had a GP in the area. I need to try again. I can’t go on with this doctor. He’s unhelpful and he’s making me worse. I dread to think what will happen if he refuses to give me the prescription again.