Psychologists x2 and an intro to my family

I thought today I’d write about my day.

It feels like a big day although really not all that much happened.

My family are visiting which is always a chaotic time and my relationship with them is rather complicated. I will explain why over time.  My family live interstate so they stay with us when they visit.  Even though my parents stay in caravan, my sister stays in the house in my older daughter’s room, so there is very little room.  We live in a very small three bedroom house (really only two bedrooms and a very small study my husband uses as his office), so things are very crowded.

Today began well with my sister, Jessie (not her real name), looking after Rose for a few hours so I could catch up on sleep after Rose spent most of the night waking up.  Lunchtime was our monthly visit to the child health nurse for Rose.  All is good.  My little angel is a great weight and height.  60th percentile for height, 40th percentile for weight.

After that was a trip to my mental health case manager who is a psychologist.  I guess that’s a story in itself.  For the last three months, about once a month, I’ve been seeing this case manager.  It’s the first time since around 2006 I’ve had a case manager.  From 2007 until last year (2013), my mental health was good.  No depression, no mania, only very mild hypomanias about once or twice a year.   I stopped seeing everyone other than my psychiatrist in 2006 and had stopped seeing my psychiatrist in 2010 as things were going so well.  Everything was going fine until after I moved from Queensland to where I live now.  Because of my aspergers, big changes are hard for me and I struggled to cope with the stress of moving and I had my first episode of major depression since 2006 in January to February 2013.  It was a moderate one which eventually built up to the point where I thought there was no other option but to kill myself.  But after a one off attempt, it snapped me out of it and I realised I didn’t want to die.

Everything was fine until my husband, John (not his real name), and I fell pregnant.  We’d been trying to fall pregnant since we got married in 2012 and I was so overjoyed.  Everything was great until I got to the second trimester where literally overnight I woke up depressed and anxious.  For the first time in my life, I was suffering from generalised anxiety disorder. I’m used to anxiety.  I have had social anxiety for as long as I can remember. But generalised anxiety disorder was a new thing to me.  Being worried about anything and everything.  Worried my husband would die in a car accident on the way home from work, worried my older daughter, Sammie (not her real name), would be mugged and killed on the way home from school, worried my baby would die before she was born, worried about everything possible.

I also was having my first mixed episode.  It was an awful feeling.  I’ve never felt that way in my entire life.  I’ve had severe depressive episodes, I’ve had a manic episode, I’ve had lots of hypomanic episode, but a mixed episode was awful.  Each day I’d wake up neutral, but then by afternoon I’d be either manic or severely depressed.  And the anxiety was beyond overwhelming.  Then at the beginning of my third trimester, just as my anxiety and mixed episode had started overnight at the beginning of the second trimester, all of a sudden the anxiety and manic symptoms were gone and all that was left was soul destroying, crushing depression.

I won’t go into it in this entry, but my history is I suffered severe post natal depression after Sammie was born but when I sought help for it, instead of getting help, I was abused terribly.  So asking for help is something really hard for me.  But I knew when I was pregnant I needed help and I thought, maybe living in a different state, being in a different health system, working in the system myself, maybe I would get help this time.  But I didn’t get help. The more I reached out for help as I got worse and worse, the more the professionals I was seeing in the public health system seemed to think I was ok.

Eventually things reached a head, I had a total breakdown, nearly killed myself, was admitted to hospital and was finally offered help. I found out the public mental health system had never taken me seriously right up until I was blunt and told them how and when I was planning to kill myself.  Even then they had misdiagnosed me and were pushing wrong treatments (wrong medications and wrong psychotherapy) but thankfully just before my breakdown I had started seeing a private psychiatrist who saw the real me, my real problems and has started with helpful treatments.  While I was waiting for hospital, I was given an interim case manager, then when I got out I was given a temporary case manager for a few weeks, and then I was given the “permanent” one I have now. I say “permanent” because basically now I’m over my depressive episode, I’m ok.  I don’t need much help so I have one more appointment and then things will wrap up.

But that brings me to today. Today I finally have some faith that if I get depressed again, that I will get help. I feel like I have someone I can ring up and say “hey I’m not ok, please help me” and I’ll be taken seriously.  We worked out some big things that have really put my mind at ease (as much as is possible for someone who has been through what I have been through) about what to do if/when I have another episode of depression.

There is so much more I could talk about, but I’m exhausted so I think that’s enough for tonight. I hope tomorrow to share what we discussed – and maybe even get onto my other appointment today with the psychologist I’m seeing for trauma therapy.

Thanks for reading this far.

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