On Friday last week I finally got a letter from the community mental health team (cmht) telling me that I had an appointment to see the psychiatrist on Tuesday at 3.30pm with my normal psychiatrist. I have never felt so happy or relieved to hear that I had an appointment to see the shrink!

Tuesday arrived and off I went feeling hopeful that something was going to happen to help the increasing agoraphobia, panic attacks and insane insomnia. It was a great meeting. If you have been with me over the past two and half years you will know that my experience with this particular cmht has been pretty shitty and that my relationship with the psychiatrist reached breaking point and I requested a new one only to then request my old one back again. It has been a hideous experience and I wasn’t holding my breath. However, she was nice to me! It has been about 8 months since I saw her last and in that time things have gone from being quite good to where I am now. She said that I had made really good progress and she wanted to see me get back to that place. We discussed about when things started to go down hill, possible triggers and what i have been doing since November.

In my desperation to sleep and calm the anxiety that seems to live in my chest, I have reached back for co-codamol and bought any over the counter sleep medicines I could get my hands on. I have had horrible side effects with the nytol and phenergan that I was taking. It caused muscle spasms, restless leg and did fuck all to help with the insomnia. If I was lucky enough to sleep it would keep me asleep and I literally couldn’t get up, but I didn’t feel rested, I had vivid dreams and nightmares and my body ached because of all the muscle spasms.

So, we discussed a treatment plan. I admitted that I had found some quetiapine from when I was prescribed it before and had taken it and then my friend gave me some the week before just to help me for a couple of days. I took 100mg which did knock me out but it’s side effects made it impossible to do anything like read, focus, drive. I felt like I was hungover. On the other hand 25mg does bugger all. So we decided to go somewhere in the middle and agreed on an initial dose of 50mg nightly.

We also discussed the dose of venlafaxine. I was on 150mg which is a low dose and one which I eventually want to reduce further and come off. Being on 225mg effects sexual fucntion in that I can’t reach climax and my husband tells me that I am broken. This results in sex being something that he and I both dread. Not so much the sex bit, but the getting me to that point bit. He doesn’t help matters as he makes me feel like I am a chore and being referred to as being broken just adds to the shit I already feel about myself. However, at the moment things are not as good as they good be with my husband and honestly, sex is not really on my mind. Being able to sleep and function like a normal person is more important right now. And he doesn’t make any moves to be intimate so if he’s not going to let me know that he wants some loving then nothing is going to happen.

It’s a little more complicated than I had said, but that’s for another time.

So, I agreed with her to increase the venlafaxine to 225mg – 150 to be taken in the morning and 75 at night. We are meeting in mid-March to discuss how things are.

Like I said, it was a really good appointment and I came away with prescribed medication, no more searching desperately to find something to help me for a night. It’s all official and for now, well, now I wait for it all to kick in.

I know it’s only been a few days, but I confess I feel shit. Worse than I have in ages. I am so emotional, I feel like my mood has literally plummeted completely right down to my little toe. I am exhausted all the time. I have the attention span of a peanut, my thoughts are all over the place. I experience episodes of derealisation which is a really unnerving experience. My paranoia is higher than its been in a long, long time. I feel disconnected from everything. I am hypervigilant most of the time. I hate being touched. I flinch even if its my kids although I try to be calm about it and push myself to give hugs to them and my husband. But the thing I am trying so hard not to do is to self-harm. I want to cut desperately.

My emotions are so fucked up and all over the place. I literally have no idea what I am thinking or feeling at the moment. I can’t put it into words and I don’t really understand them. It’s completely messed up and my head is telling me that if I cut I will find some relief. Fighting these urges is incredibly hard. I have managed not to since November, but I am not sure that I can fight much longer. I have an elastic band on my wrist which I snap constantly, but it really doesn’t have the same affect.

I would also really like to get off my face. I just don’t want to feel any more. It’s too much and I feel like I am drowning in them all. There is one thought I do have a lot which I do understand that just asks the question, “what the fuck did I do that was so wrong?”. I really feel like I did something wrong and this is my punishment. I can hear people saying it was nothing that I did, that no one deserves this type of living hell and nor do I, but I don’t believe that. I must have. I wasn’t good enough, I did bad things and this is my punishment.

I am relieved that my insomnia has finally been helped and I am hoping that it will settle and I will have a normal sleep pattern again. But the rest – my head is in turmoil and I can’t see anything changing any time soon.


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