Light at the end of the tunnel

Thursday January 10, 2019

The last eight months have been awful. I had a Mental Health crisis and was admitted to an Acute Psychiatric ward for the first time as a patient, I had been in the ward previously as a Health Professional.

I was very agitated pulling my hair out and having suicidal thoughts. My family couldn't cope with me and I was deemed as a risk to myself. So I either went quietly to the ward - if I refused I would have been sectioned. I was given sedating medication and I went quietly to the ward.

The first 48 hours in the ward are a bit blurry, but it was a dreadful experience and at times frightening as I felt so vulnerable. At times there were scenes from One flew over the Cuckoo's nest! At other times it was like the song from Bjork, Oh so quiet. One minute ssh ssh oh so quiet then bang oh so loud.

My experience on the ward opened my eyes to the various mental health conditions that leads people to being admitted. I met some really nice people in the ward - some were regulars.

When I was agitated I would ask for medication to calm me down (Lorazepam). I would be told to sit outside in the sun and use my meditation app, or to do some crafts!! I was literally pulling my hair out and would return to the nurse to say I was no better, only then I was given medication (reluctantly).

I spent 2 weeks on the ward, my mood had improved but no two days were the same. I was discharged with a diagnosis of Agitated Depression and Abnormal Grief (My mum passed away last year). When home again I was still agitated, lacking motivation and mood very low. I would have duvet days, wouldn't shower or eat, just popping diazepam. No amount of coaxing from my family would motivate me, they thought that I wasn't trying, I just couldn't function. I could not see light at the end of the tunnel.

I was appointed a Community Psychiatric Nurse. She has been so patient with me and links up with my Psychiatrist. I now have a diagnosis of Bi-Polar type 3. My father had Bi-polar but as a family we could predict his mood swings, with Type 3 my mood fluctuated rapidly and eraticaly. I have always kept a mood diary and used Moodscope daily. When I looked back on my moods I could see the variability of my moods. I take them with me to hospital reviews.

After a lot of trial and error my mood has stabilised with mood stabilising medication and my graph looks good and I am looking at going back to work. I use my Headspace App and Moodscope cards daily, go out for walks with my camera. I have also joined a Soul Choir which is fun - good for the soul and encourages social interaction.

It has been a tough year and I thought my life was over. I know that I am still recovering. To anyone that can relate to my experience don't give up, things will get better, but it does take time.

When going through my mum's things I found a lovely tapestry with the quote 'Time and the hour will see us through the roughest day'.

Kind regards

Netty B
A Moodscope member

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