The struggle

the qiuet borderlineHi everyone,

I haven’t posted in a long time and my last post was extremely positive. Unfortunately I have truly crashed since then.

I have treatment resistant depression, BPD, AvPD and OCD. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll add any more diagnoses to my list.

I’ve now been in a psychiatric hospital for over two years. I still think that I am waiting to wake up from a nightmare. I find myself in my blue metal framed bed staring at the ceiling, thinking ‘this can’t be’. Maybe I need to admit that this is the truth. That this is real and is what I have to face.

I tried dozens of psychiatric medications over the space of 2 1/2 years since my breakdown and that nearly ended horrifically with me deciding that I have simply had enough and was going to take the cowards way out.

The day after, I spoke with my psychiatrist. I’ve never been so serious in all my life and she saw it. I said ‘we have to do or change something before it’s too late’… She understood 100% what I meant and said that she’d get back to me.

An hour later, she came to my room and called me to have a meeting with herself, the head psychiatrist and the head of the ward. The head of the ward asked me how I was feeling and asked me to explain what was going on with me. I knew that I had to be fully honest and open otherwise I won’t get the help I need.

He asked me about suicidal thoughts and I was totally honest and told them what I had very nearly done the day before. They were in shock and said that they are very concerned for me. They said they’d discuss it between themselves and get back to me regarding their decision of how we can move forward to make a, hopefully, positive change.

An hour later, my psychiatrist came to my room and told me that they’d decided that I start ECT. I said that I agree and am fully prepared to do whatever I have to do in order to get better.

Now, a month later, I have done four ECTs and I hate to say that things are still not going too great. Unfortunately, I only had a seizure on the first time I had the ECT, but the other three attempts weren’t successful due to me not having a seizure. You need enough electricity in order to have a seizure (that’s what makes you feel better) but they still haven’t found the right level of electricity for me.

On the positive side of things, I felt the difference after the first treatment and felt less depressed and more calm. I hope that they will up the voltage so that it’ll be enough to do what it’s got to do.

I had a couple of very bad experiences with the ECT so far. Once, I stopped breathing completely but because the muscle relaxant was still in full force, I couldn’t shout out for help or move my body to sign that I need help. It was a truly horrible moment that I hope I will never have again. Hopeless and very scary.

Then another time, the level of anaesthetic was too low again and I felt and heard everything. Them unstrapping my legs from the bed, talking the cotton wool out of my mouth, them discussing my acne (!) and so on. Now they’ve upped the anaesthetic so that hopefully that won’t happen again.

I don’t mean to write this as a total sob story but unfortunately this is how things are for me right now. Crying daily with the nurses, my doctor and therapist saying that I’m ‘in hell’, terrible panic attacks lasting for hours and so on and so forth.

I’ll be starting DBT in a few weeks time with my therapist that I have been with in the hospital during my entire hospitalisation. It just so happens that she’s been taking a course in DBT whilst we’ve been doing therapy together and now she’s finished the course, she is ready to test it out on me! The hospital have agreed that I can do a 1 year DBT program with her and even if I leave the hospital before then, then I can come to the hospital once a week to do the DBT with her.

Trying to end on a more positive note, my doctors say that the ECT will help me. That they just need to get the levels right. I am set to do 12 ECTs and then do one a week and one a month as maintenance. I am coming off of all medications and the ECT will take place of them. They said its highly likely that I’ll need to come once a month on an outpatient basis to do the ECT. So that should be the depression taken care of.

The other positive is the DBT. My psychologist is sure that it’ll help me. And that will hopefully take care of the BPD side of things.

I know that I’ve just got to hold on and not give up. Most of the time I am thinking that I’ve had enough of suffering and have no more patience to carry on. But I have to carry on, if not for my own sake, then for the sake of my family and fellow patients here who love and care for me deeply.

I sincerely wish the best for all of us and pray for a speedy recovery for all of those that are suffering with mental illnesses. You are not alone. It is worth the fight. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we just need to keep fighting on and keep hope inside of us.

All the best x

Ps. I wanted to say that I am terribly sorry about the shooting in the school in Connecticut yesterday. How awful. May all of their souls have peace in the highest level of heaven.

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26 thoughts on “The struggle

  1. Reading your story and seeing how you are able to end your post with encouragement to fight and keep hope is inspiring.
    All the best with your continued treatment, in particular the ECT.

    • Thank you very much for reading and leaving a comment 🙂

  2. You’ve expressed your feelings and treatment very well…I hope that they get the right setting for the ECT because I really feel like it will help you along with the DBT. You have a lot of work to do but hopefully the doctors will do their part too….Love and Prayers for you ..Dianec

    • Thanks Diane. I am glad to have spoken about everything and am trying my best to express myself. Carrying on 🙂

  3. You’re in my thoughts……so sorry things have been so difficult for you, but I agree there is always hope and it sounds like there is a good plan in place to help you.

    • Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. All the best x

  4. You’re in my thoughts too. I hope the ECT gets better as it goes on. I didn’t know you had to have a seizure for it to work. Not sure actually what I thought made the ECT work but I didn’t know you had to seize. You don’t feel any of it though if you’re properly anesthetized? It must have been really scary when you weren’t put under fully.

    • Yes, you need to have a seizure in order to feel better. That’s how they found out ECT. A dr realised that patients that had seizures due to epilepsy etc felt better after having one, so he was like ‘oh, I’m going to zap people’s brains!’. But yes, you are under general anaesthetic. A short acting one. As soon as you fall asleep they start giving you the electricity so it’s luckily not possible that you’d wake up too early from the procedure to feel that.

      • Oh, okay. That makes sense. In the early days they didn’t bother giving people anaesthetic though, right? I think they just strapped the patient down and put something in their mouth to bite on. I’m glad it seems to have come a long way since then.

  5. What an inspiring post! I am so proud of you for sticking with it, seeing it through, not giving up. I know it must be terribly hard for you at times, with all you’ve been through and are still going through. And yet you still have hope, and you give hope to others. I bless you that your ECT treatment should be successful, and that it should give you back your life. Much love from Laura xoxo

    • Thank you Laura for your such sweet and encouraging words. I appreciate your support x

  6. As usual as it comes to post where I identify myself, I feel like I want to say a million things but then I can’t write even one of them. The despair, the crying, the suicidal thoughts, the struggle… Mental Illness is a horrible thing. Horrible.

    I don’t know if living is worth the fight but it seems to me that we have no choice but to keep on living.

    Hugs to you and all the best with your therapy. I’m glad to hear that it’s working a little bit

    • Thank you. I know. It’s something awful, it really is. It pains me so much to see so many people suffering. And I’m sorry that you are one of them too 😦 wishing you all the best.

      • Thank you. I get by. In fact, I’m doing a hundred times better that oh, I don’t know, ever. I just came to terms that I have to live even if I don’t want to. And that if I have to life, might as well try to enjoy it a little. Of course that’s easier said than done and I have relapses but most of the time I’m OK.

        I wish you all the best too. I’ve been hospitalized before but never for so long. I very much wish… I don’t know, I wish you well, I guess that’s the best way to say it 🙂

  7. Thanks for your words. I have been practicing DBT for over 4 years and it has been helpful to me. I feel they should teach it in schools it is so helpful. I hope you find it a good fit for you, too. I wish I was doing better right now, but I am certainly fighting really hard to do the best that I can. I hate this time of year. I found your testimonial encouraging because you once used to enjoy Christmas. I hope that I can find the courage to enjoy it one day again. I just don’t think it will be this year. Maybe 2013 will be the lucky year for this unlucky girl. Please keep sharing your experiences. I am especially interested in how you respond to ECT. I haven’t tried that yet. I feel like I have tried every medication under the sun, but they don’t work or cause real bad side effects. I am very sensitive and prone to those. Thanks again! -scary (aka kara)

    • Feel free to check out my blog and keep updated.

      Thank you for reading.

      So glad to hear that the DBT has been so good for you. X

  8. Hope you are doing well. I’ve been thinking about you ever since you took your blog down/set it on private.

    • Hi multifoliate. I wanted to let you know that our Quiet Borderline is not responding to comments at present. But I will pass your sentiments along to her. Thank you for your interest and kind wishes.

    • Sorry that I haven’t been on to check new comments. Please feel free to request access to my blog and I’ll give you access – the same counts for everyone here and those that I know I can trust.

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