I wish that I could have posted earlier to speak with all you and keep updated…
But here I am.
After seven years of living abroad and three of those being very sick, I have returned to England to see how it goes here starting afresh again. I have been back for just over a week.
‘Change of place, change of luck’.
I moved abroad at the age of 21, alone, asides from already having my sister in the north of the country and I went to the centre due to it being the best place for new immigrants.
As I have spoken about previously, I woke up on 6th June 2010 and BANG, everything hit me and that was the beginning of my mental breakdown which went from anxiety to depression and then I was diagnosed with BPD too.
The truth was, I had problems for many years, pretty much during all of my childhood and adult years. My psychologist says even from birth. For example, I started self-harming when I was 13 years old but only at the age of 25 did this all come out (gradually). I was very much unaware of the problems and thought that it was a ‘normal’ thing to self-harm, abuse substances and get up to stupid things that threatened my health and life. Now I am 28 years old.
When I had the big breakdown, I had no knowledge or experience about mental health. But I got some advice from a new immigrant help line and they said that I should go to a psychologist and psychiatrist straight away. And that’s what I did.
From the get go, it all snowballed and snowballed the more I spoke and the worse I was feeling with worsening depression.
I managed to be in my own apartment for nearly a year whilst getting on medications and going to therapy twice a week but on February 17th 2011, enough was really enough and everything was way too much to take and I decided to be hospitalised. Once I got to the point of actively being suicidal, all I thought about is my family and that I need to do something about it.
As you can read from my previous posts here and on my blog, my treatment went from trying: Effexor, Prozac, Sertraline, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Lithium, Valporal, Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Remeron and Trazodone.
* Takes breath *
Alongside trying the following Benzodiazepines for high anxiety: Clonex, Vaben, Xanax, Clonazepam, Brotizolam, Valium, Lorazepam, Stilnox.
And some sleeping pills such as
Imovane to try to deal with my insomnia.
Then I agreed to be in a clinical trial of Subutex (buprenorphine) at another hospital which I was involved in for a month. This is a medication which has been treating heroin addicts for a couple of decades or so to help them to quit and get clean. And is now being tested to see if it can treat major depression with specifically suicidal patients.
I did 11 ECTs (Electroconvulsive Therapy) which (for me) was a rather traumatic and unpleasant experience that I wish to forget.
During my hospitalisation, my therapist was taking a course in DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) and after she finished this course, we started the therapy together. We only did two sessions however.
During this time (from around January 2013), I unfortunately was feeling worse and worse as no medications were helping me, ECT didn’t, therapy wasn’t and I was once again (but more severely) feeling suicidal.
I knew that this hospital would be the death of me and that it was coming around very soon. I had it all planned out, letters written, method decided upon, everything. I was in an absolute wreck for a few months feeling worse and worse and very out of control being totally broken down.
And then in mid-March (a month ago), within a week, somehow my eyes opened up to what was going on with me and many things that were happening around me. I realised that I had honestly tried my best but that I needed to get out of the hospital.
I researched other options within the country I was living in but there wasn’t anything.
A few days after, I woke up one morning and that was it… I decided that I was leaving the hospital and the country. I wrote a request letter in order to be released from the hospital and sat with the head psychiatrist, my psychiatrist and my psychologist. They read the letter and didn’t really see it coming… But really, two years in a psychiatric hospital with no improvement and only on a downward spiral, I think that I ‘did my time’. Being hospitalised for that long is really not healthy for a lot of reasons. It’s affected me deeply.
They all responded that I can leave the hospital which, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting due to my situation. They knew that I was even more suicidal than ever and that I was totally a danger to myself etc, but they all agreed.
I spoke separately with my psychiatrist and psychologist and many other members of staff and they all said to me that it was the ‘best decision’ I had made. That I can’t continue to be there, that they haven’t managed to help me even though they tried and ALL said to me good luck and in no way am I making the wrong decision to leave the hospital.
The next day, I left.
I have many things to say concerning the hospital that I saw with my own eyes such as unfair treatment, abuse, very unkind acts towards patients which would without a doubt be illegal. They have a very twisted way of working which I could give examples of in a long list. But I won’t go there.
When I left the hospital, they gave me my discharge ‘letter’. They knew that I was moving back to England and disregarding even that, surely I need more information than this little form states. (Of course I am continuing treatment). Half of the page was my info such as name, date of birth, basics like that, then was my diagnoses codes (from the DSM), a list of the three medications I am on currently, then two lines of ‘details’ in which my psychiatrist stated that I am/have ‘resisting treatment and have gone against the advice of staying in the hospital’. BS! What absolute BS! Even she had stated to my face (THE NIGHT BEFORE!) that this long hospitalisation was no good for me and that she wants to see me outside of the hospital and they ALL said that this was the best decision. So, why she wrote that, I don’t know. I guess that’s in case I go through with my death plans and they want to cover themselves legally. Ridiculous. And I have no clue why she wrote the diagnosis code of me having bipolar! Excuse me?! Not even once in that two year hospitalisation did that diagnosis be said to me or even mentioned! I’m SO non-bipolar, it’s ridiculous. No idea whatsoever!
Sorry for the outburst there. I am truly hurt by what went on and am still struggling with nightmares and flashbacks from the hospitalisation. I could go on to talk about other things that I experienced personally and witnessed but it’s not healthy for me, neither is it healthy for any other human being to hear it.
I’m now on Trazodone (anti-depressant), Vaben (Benzo for anxiety) and Imovane (to help me sleep). But medications are pretty much out of the window. The Trazodone is pretty much my last option but I’m only on 200mg and that can go up to 600mg max so even though it’s not helping now, you never know, a higher dosage could help. But I’ve said that for the last three years with medications and I should probably quieten myself and stop the thoughts that ‘it could…’
I have now been back in England for a week and a half and am living with my dad and his wife. It’s a very mixed experience and is very difficult for both them and myself to deal with. Unfortunately they don’t know everything to the fullest extent and I am very unsure of how to do this. I think they’ll really freak out if they know everything that’s going on with me but on the other hand, I know that they need to know! Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can sort this out exactly in the most ‘easiest’ way? I hide things very well and people don’t know what’s going on inside.
And that’s pretty much it guys and girls. I so so so wish that I could report something positive by now, but honestly, I have hardly any will to live and I hate to say it but I truly believe that I will become another suicide statistic. I can’t go on for much longer suffering from minute to minute like this with no break.
I’m wishing you all well and I hope that we can all find a way out of these awful struggles in life. We deserve to live!
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I can’t imagine what you have been through…all I can say is that you are brave for posting about this and reaching out for help. Get as involved as you can with a new psychiatrist and therapist, and maybe some community support. I do not know what is offered in England, exactly, but hopefully you can get some wrap-around services to transition being in the hospital so long and now in the community. Best wishes to you, truly!
Some good advice there – thank you 🙂
As much as I feel like I am failing, I’m still as dedicated as I can be – really trying to look for all the help that is available out there.
Thank you for your kind words Rose.
Thank you x
Ahem. I have so many things to say I don’t know where to start. I’ll start by saying that I know the general vicinity where you were hospitalized, being an immigrant citizen myself, and I have a fair amount of experience with the psychiatric system there. It boggles my mind that you were in hospital there for two years–TWO YEARS!!!!–and yet it does not surprise me that other than med changes, nothing much got done. One good thing is: you are still alive today, and that is because you are a strong person. You have proved that by getting through those two years. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. And now that you are suddenly out, it must be so strange, being just all of a sudden in a totally different environment, and with your dad and his wife. You will need some strong support to get through this phase. If you are interested, I have a dear friend who still lives in that country who has also had prolonged hospitalizations, and is now living on her own B”H. You’re welcome to email me for any reason at all, and if you want her details I will be happy to get you connected with her.
Thank you for the comment. I do agree with you.
So glad that your friend is doing better -B”H absolutely.
Lovely to hear that connection we have there 🙂
I would love to check out your blog and keep updated and in touch. So off I go…
All the best.
It is truly a disgrace for mankind the way patients are treated everywhere. Not just Mental health patients but any person who is not in a position to speak up for themselves, like children and the elderly. Very sad.
Best of luck in this new leg of your journey!
Thank you Summer!
Sincerely appreciate your best wishes.
I am so very happy you are not in hospital and with family! I truly believe that we can heal with outpatient support. I know it must feel strange to be with family when you have been in hospital for 2 very long years. When you stopped sharing your blog, I became very concerned for you. You had gone to a very dark place and I kept looking for posts so I knew you were ok.
I am hopeful that your journey to wellness and healing will happen with a great support network. You deserve to be happy. xo
Thank you very much S.
I’m opening my blog again – just had an awkward time where my sister shouted out ‘the quiet borderline!!? Is that your blog?’ And I had to close it so that people can apply to view it.
Hope to see you around 🙂
Wow. I agree that you’re an amazingly strong person to go through two years of that mess. Good luck with everything, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts!
Ahh thank you.
Trying to be strong. Kinda fighting on. X
It seems wrong to click “like” on this post. Now you’re back in the UK, have you registered with a local GP and spoken to them about all your experiences?
I sometimes wonder if we should have some sort of support group, like AA, but for people with other forms of mental illness.