I came across this Mental Health tag on the blog THIS STUFF IS GOLDEN.
I thought it would give me a good opportunity to share more about my own mental health story. So, here goes.
1. WHAT IS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE?
2. DO YOU HAVE MEDICATION AND/OR THERAPY?
I currently take Venlafaxine and Quetiapine, and I see the psychiatrist every few months. I’m in limbo in terms of my CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse), as my CPN left his job abruptly and the mental health team haven’t yet replaced him. To say I’m unhappy about it is an understatement, but I’ll leave it there.
3. WHAT THERAPY/MEDICATION HAVE YOU TRIED AND HAS ANY WORKED FOR YOU?
I completed a year-long Structured Clinical Management (SCM) programme called Intensive Life Skills (ILS). It is based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and included a weekly group education session and a weekly CPN appointment. I found this programme really helpful.
I also tried EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), but I didn’t get very far with it before I moved area and temporarily discharged myself from mental health services.
I’m happy with the medication that I’m currently on, as it seems to be helping me to regulate my emotions a lot better than other medications I have tried, which included Citalopram, Sertraline, Propranolol, Aripiprazole and Risperidone. I found Diazepam and Zolpidem helpful when I was in deep crisis, but of course, these should only be used on a short-term basis.
4. HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD PROBLEMS FOR?
Since I was about 12 years old. I’m now 30.
5. DO YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS KNOW?
Yes, I am quite open about my mental health now.
6. DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR WORK AND DAILY LIVING?
Significantly so. I am currently unable to work and I need considerable support in daily living.
7. WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL CALM?
I find ASMR videos calming. I also like cuddling with my cats, as their purring calms me down.
8. WHAT DO YOU DO IN CRISIS?
It depends on the crisis. I usually seek help from my parents in the first instance, and they are very supportive. I am reluctant to seek help from crisis services due to negative experiences with them in the past.
9. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS SUFFERING?
Establish a support system. Talk. Ask for help when you need it.
10. WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
My cats. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Videos of unusual animal friends (e.g. cat and dog, dog and pig, cat and fox… you get the picture!)
11. DESCRIBE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE IN 5 WORDS
Complicated, but I have hope.
12. INSERT A PICTURE TO MAKE PEOPLE SMILE
I’d love to hear your mental health story. If you decide to tell yours using this tag, send me the link in the comments.