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…

A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

**Trigger Warning: mention of self harm and medical treatment** Today I found out that I need to have surgery to deal with some self harm that otherwise won’t heal. It’s one of those things that I know I have to deal with as potential repercussions of symptoms of my illness such as self harm- although… Continue reading A Bit of My Leg Will Be In My Arm

Trigger Warning: Killed by my Debt (BBC)

Please be warned that Killed by my Debt is graphic and there are images of suicide method and a *lot* of build up to it. Please be careful if you are at all vulnerable to this – it is a troubling watch; an important message but told in a particularly graphic manner. Take care x

A Day in the Life (Visual Journal) – Mental Health Awareness Week

“Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

Well this really struck a chord; unfortunately I think it will with anyone suffering from mental illnesses, and especially those with the more stigmatized ones such as personality disorders. I genuinely couldn’t even begin to count the amount of times that mental health professionals, with confidence and certainty, tell me rather than ask me (AKA… Continue reading “Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

The Power of Pride and Humour

Today has been a strange old day in my world. Mainly nothing ‘serious’…messing around with the staff at my placement, meeting with my care coordinators, talking to the mental health professionals here about things I’ve been working on, preparing to interview new staff with the senior recovery workers, watching Children in Need… However, a thread… Continue reading The Power of Pride and Humour

The Start

This week brought the start of my specialist placement – a residential, psychologically-based project offering 1-3 years of 24/7 support led by a clinical team for particularly complex cases, and especially people struggling severely with personality disorders. It’s my first time of having contact with any specialist service, and bizarrely enough it’s the first time… Continue reading The Start

Well Placed Dark Humour in Mental Health

With the right patient and the right professional (and I really do mean that – it has to be a good balance and appropriate) a bit of dark humour can go a long way. My keyworker from the crisis team came to check on me on the ward this evening. I told him that my… Continue reading Well Placed Dark Humour in Mental Health

Metaphorically Dumping Guilt and Self-Hatred

Following a conversation yesterday about the fact that it will likely be guilt that’s the final nail in the coffin (sorry for the dark pun) towards my suicide, the crisis team manager went searching for some boulders for me. Today she turned up hauling these with her and together we wrote ‘GUILT’ and ‘SELF-HATRED’ on them then metaphorically dumped them outside. 

I thought this was a wonderful gesture, some amazing ouside-the-box thinking by an already stretched mental health professional, and a great idea. Definitely well worth a try!

Let’s hope even part of those torturously heavy boulders can stay out there. 

Liver Damage

Trigger Warning: Suicide  I won’t go in to specific details (although elements – but not all – will be easily deduced) but on Friday I fully intended to take my own life and made a very serious attempt at doing so…just a week after my last attempt.  After 3 days on a High Dependency Unit… Continue reading Liver Damage

Am I Embarrassed?

TW Self Harm/Suicide  Last night I took quite a large overdose. It felt like I was powerless to the ‘monster’ within in a way that I can’t explain; but suffice to say, it is and was a terrifying situation. And one thar endured much guilt: for causing worry and a sleepless night for my mum,… Continue reading Am I Embarrassed?

Living in Limbo

It’s a funny time at the moment: I’m waiting to move in to a new placement which is described as: “a 24-hour CQC-registered accommodation service for adults who experience severe mental distress. Residents have multiple and complex needs and are entering the service from high-level support and secure settings or as an alternative to hospital… Continue reading Living in Limbo

Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

Oh the complexities of very poorly brains. Guess what? I have news – good things – that should make me want to dance or at least crack a little smile, but instead I am riddled with guilt…wishing that I could sacrifice myself and give others – the dozens of others that I know personally, the… Continue reading Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

The Importance of Good Therapeutic Relationships and the Terror of Personality Disorders

Therapeutic relationships: what a bloody complicated subject. These relationships are unlike any other – there is a natural power-imbalance and a one-way exchange of information/knowledge about the people involved. This means that those on the professional end of therapeutic relationships, especially with vulnerable patients, are left with the immensely difficult task of working out how… Continue reading The Importance of Good Therapeutic Relationships and the Terror of Personality Disorders