6 Months in to Personality Disorder Placement

As I type this, I’ve been meaning to do so for so long that I’m now actually closer to 7 months of being here. Where is here? Well, to me it is the place that has given me hope of a life. For the first and only time, I feel like I no longer am… Continue reading 6 Months in to Personality Disorder Placement

Libraries and Pondering the Future

Finally registered with the local library and got my first book out: ‘Confessions of a Male Nurse’. I’m looking forward to it greatly, especially as I suspect more and more that my future lies in healthcare. ‘Allsorts’ looks intrigued, too… 😉 It’s been a while since I’ve had the concentration to sit and read, and… Continue reading Libraries and Pondering the Future

Small Acts of Kindness

As part of an Occupational Therapy group at my placement we are doing a topic on ‘care’; a member of our group suggested that we make notes to leave in books at the library and what a lovely idea that is! So today I’ve gotten really in to finding some nice messages and making some little cards up to put in there on Monday.

I’ve always loved the idea of doing something like this, thinking that you never know what little thing might brighten someone’s day. And who knows, maybe it will trigger a whole chain of small acts of kindness?

Dishing out advice is so much easier than following it…

As someone who yesterday wrote this: Today I’ve struggled not to dissolve in to tears about the mess of a person I am and the mess of a year I’ve just had. Whether it was comparisons with others (the achievements and lives of my friends, people I went to school with, people I’ve been in… Continue reading Dishing out advice is so much easier than following it…

What is Mentalization? (MBT)

My placement is based upon the Mentalization Based Treatment model; this is a NICE recommended, evidence-based treatment for personality disorders (although it is less well-known than DBT). I’ve had a day where I’ve needed some help distracting myself and keeping busy, so one of the MBT Practitioners here asked me to have a go at summarising Mentalization and the model we work with in to something that can be transformed in to a booklet for staff members (e.g. HCAs and nurses who haven’t had specific training in MBT) and new patients.

This is my first draft and I thought it might be useful to share it more widely for anyone curious about MBT as I know I struggled to find easily-accessible material when this placement was suggested to me.

Painful Contradictions in Mental Health Treatment

I’m having a contrary time at the moment.

On the one hand, I am feeling incredibly awful – dealing with dreadful anniversaries, and a whole host of guilt, shame, self-hatred and fear that go with them.

On the other, I had the most positive CPA I could hope for today in terms of recognition of the work I am putting in to my placement (& the intensive therapy that is part and parcel), the progress I’ve already made, and everyone’s hopes for the positive trajectory of recovery they are currently predicting.

This second point is also making me guilty that I can’t “just be positive” and focus on the blessings of the help and support I am currently receiving that led to as yet unheard of positivity from everyone at the meeting (including myself). But here I am feeling overwhelmingly sad for all I’ve put those around me through and struggling to cope with that guilt.

To try to help get through, I was searching for a positive quote to paint as a reminder for myself, and this one struck a chord…

Monstrous Mental Illness

is a painting I did last week when really struggling; I just needed to get what I was feeling out so it is a rough, emotion-filled picture with no fore-thought or plan. It depicts the dark, overwhelming monster of mental illness feeding on despair and blocking out the colour of the world and vibrancy of life. It can feel like the very substance of ‘you’ is being sucked away, becoming more and more faint, dominated by this inexplicable darkness…yet you know that just out of reach is a colourful, textured and varied world.