I Am Ill…

That’s the third time today I have had to admit that one. My GP saw me at 9.30am, after ringing me at 8am to see if that was OK with me. It wasn’t really, I was planning to go to my 9am seminar but I figured I can catch up on a seminar, my health is difficult to catch up on. Thankfully my notes arrived from my old GP at my under-grad uni at the end of last week, so that made talking to my new GP so much easier as she had all my notes in front of me, instead of me having to fill in the blanks. I told her about the self-harming (which she knew of through A&E’s discharge summary), the resurgence of bulimic symptoms (i.e. binge-purge; I am not going to say bulimia quite yet as I don’t think it’s latched on that badly yet), the anxiety and paranoia and the fact I had stopped taking venlafaxine. When she asked me why I had stopped taking venlafaxine, I actually had to be honest and say “I don’t know”. I wish I could give some perfectly logical and rational reason as to why I woke up one day and decided to stop taking my anti-depressants, but I can’t.

She is contacting the CMHT with all my details and wants them to ring me tomorrow or Wednesday. She is not going to restart me on any medication until I have been assessed by the CMHT and has seen what the duty psych has to say about things. She wants to see me again at the end of the week to make sure that I am “floating with my head above water, even if I am paddling like hell underneath” – her words. She was lovely about it, and told me that it is not my fault I have had a relapse. She thinks it is down to withdrawing from venlafaxine too quickly, a change in circumstances (i.e. new home, new uni, new course etc.) and above all apparently is “just one of those things”.

I also muttered the words that are the hardest to me to her. “I think I am addicted to prescription and over the counter medicines, particularly sleeping tablets and painkillers”. That was tough, but she didn’t judge me, she just said that give my past medical history of spending all the years of my life since I was 17 on and off sleeping tablets and spending nearly 9 months continuously on strong painkillers when I was 20, and given my mental state leans towards an addictive personality, that it wasn’t surprising. I actually cried when she said that, I thought everyone would resent me for having (as I saw it) yet another problem. She says that she will mention it to the CMHT, but as an aside and below the eating/self-harm crap, as she thinks that if I can deal with that first, then dealing with the dependency will be easier, and she doesn’t want me thrown towards substance abuse services before all of the other underlying problems are dealt with.

I just have to wait for the CMHT to ring me now, which I am more scared of because I know my GP (if only for a short time) and she doesn’t have that ‘psych’ or ‘mental health’ prefix of which I am so, so scared.

Ruth

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