Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Doubting

I did intend to write a post about my thoughts regarding the election result, but I am so so angry & scared about it (& what else the tories have in store for disabled people, unemployed people etc) that I can barely even form a sentence that would do it justice. All I keep thinking is that people have to stick together, be there for each other, support each other, know their rights (while we still have them!). I dread to think what'll happen next, but I refuse to be silent!

Anyway, back to the topic of this post. I want to talk about my mental health again, & how I think therapy's going.

I had therapy earlier today, & honestly I felt completely useless throughout it. It's been a few weeks since my previous appointment & with various things happening, my moods being all over the place again etc, maybe that's to blame but I was having my doubts about CBT again. I can't exactly put my finger on what's not working, but it just feels as if I'm hardly making any progress, & if I do make any progress, I tend to relapse not long after.

According to the therapist, I know a hell of a lot about CBT (I tried an online course of it, I've read up about it, watched videos, talked to people about it, studied it etc) & I tend to be quite familiar with the tools (the worry tree, thought records, behavioural activation). In theory, the tools sound useful & maybe they do help people. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, or I'm not being open-minded enough, or maybe I'm expecting too much, but they don't seem to be helping me. I get to a certain point with them, where I'm (for example) challenging a negative thought, considering evidence for & against it & trying to come to some sort of balanced conclusion. I don't seem to believe it though. I won't let myself accept that the negative thought is just a thought. I won't let myself change focus in order to let the thought go. It's like I'm clinging onto these worries, automatic thoughts, paranoid thoughts etc because I've always been like this & I don't know how to think in any other way/I don't trust the other way of thinking to be the "right" one.

I told my therapist today that when it comes to my thoughts, it feels as if there's so many that they form this huge messy knot in my head. It's hard to select each one, break it down, critically analyse it or even just acknowledge and accept it.

I'm always trying to figure out what the therapist/GP/psychiatrist thinks when I talk to them. In terms of diagnoses, I'm still confused & the only ones *officially* in my notes are Generalised Anxiety Disorder & Depression. It seems as if none of them want to think about diagnoses though, & would rather focus more on how I feel, think, behave, how it affects my life & so on. I know diagnoses aren't the be all and end all of things, but I've always found them very validating & in a way, it's helped me feel as if I can connect with others with the same diagnoses, know that they understand, and that they know that I understand. Without that diagnosis, it's just a list of symptoms that could be A, could be B, or might not quite fit the criteria for A or B. I know this is ridiculous, & I don't think anyone has actually tried to make me feel this way, but it's like I feel as if I don't have the right to talk about those particular symptoms I have, that I think fit that particular diagnosis because I've not been given that particular diagnosis!

 The therapist is most vocal about focusing more on my thoughts, feelings & behaviours (well, obviously!) & from what I remember, this is what she says about me:


  • I'm a perfectionist
  • I think in extremes (all or nothing)
  • I feel responsible for everything
  • I feel the need to control everything/one
  • I never put myself first/I don't feel I deserve to
  • I don't trust my own judgment
  • I look to others for reassurance & validation
  • I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself
  • I have a lot of compulsions, "checking" behaviour, looking for certainty, terrified of being wrong etc. (e.g. you would not believe how many times I check twitter, my tweets, other people's responses, my blog posts etc)
  • I'm very very self critical
  • I don't always notice when I'm worrying, until the worrying gets really bad
There's probably more that I can't think of right now, but those are a few key things she's said. She says she finds the things I say very interesting as well? She writes down so many notes each session, I'd love to know what she's written down! Last time I saw the GP though, I asked her what kinds of things mental health services have said to her in correspondence. It turns out there's barely anything! It's probably my paranoid brain again, but I really thought that mental health services (i.e. therapist, crisis team nurses, psychiatrist) were hiding a lot of things from me. It seems pointless even bothering to open up about things (especially the self harm) if it's just going to be disregarded.

I know I'm lucky that I'm getting therapy at all, & I'm lucky that I got the chance to see a psychiatrist at all. Sometimes it feels like the Sertraline the psychiatrist prescribed is helping a bit, even if just to keep me safe(ish), but I really don't feel as if I'm moving forward. I just feel as if I'm going round in circles. 


I'm not sure if I should ask to get re-referred for CBT once these sessions have ended. What else is there though? Who can I turn to when I don't feel safe? Will I be even more reluctant to ask for help when in crisis? It seems as if it's all up to me to figure out what I need, what will help etc but honestly? I don't know!



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