Hi Guys. Sorry once again for inflicting all that shit on you last time. Strangely more people "tuned in" and read that post than any other ... well, a cheery title like "Toxic brain dump" really pulls in the punters don't y' know! And I want to sincerely thank the people who left a comment. I realise I made it tough for you because I left very little room for hope in there. Very little that people could respond to. Most of those who did said that clearly I am depressed and need meds. Or possibly could I turn to faith to help me through this. Both valid suggestions.
I certainly don't dispute that I am suffering from major depression. But I can tell you that I've tried every anti-dep going and none has been any good, either due to side effects or lack of efficacy. The one I was on the longest, Lofepramine is highly toxic and had little positive effect. It also caused me to reach my highest ever weight due to the fact that it lowers blood sugar, and blood pressure and slows you down so much that life becomes one long grinding exhaustion. The main way it "worked", if at all, was simply to slow down my thinking, thus I would have fewer thoughts per hour, thus fewer depressing thoughts per hour, thus be less depressed. Talk about being sledgehammered! I had to give it up due to the damaging effect on my kidneys. It also made me agoraphobic, a known side effect of this med. I was agoraphobic from the first tablet I took. I carried on taking it for as long as I did because I was desperate and there were really no other choices. I haven't been able to tolerate anything else. My psychiatrist told me some years ago that I was out of meds. Nothing left to try.
So I am now going through this unmedicated. But that doesn't really bother me I have to say. Even when I was on tablets the side effects were so bad I couldn't lead any kind of normal life anyway. So I wasn't any further forward.
Ultimately meds, if they worked and if I didn't have side effect problems, would only be covering up the pain, a band aid on the situation. They cannot solve the root cause. The root cause being that when I had my breakdown in 2000 I lost my self. I lost my personality. I lost who I was. No tablet can give me my self back.
That's why psychiatry has been no help to me at all. There is no diagnostic category for "person with no personality". In fact I have never really been able to get a psychiatrist to even understand the position I am in. They just don't seem to "get it". Or maybe they do but simply have no answer.
There is no way I've found of deliberately reforming a personality. Well, you may say what about psychotherapy? Therapy of course is designed to help people explore parts of themselves and make adjustments in personality. It depends on you having a personality in the first place to make the adjustments to.
I've been very lucky (or maybe not so lucky) to have had extensive individual therapy on the NHS: psychodynamic psychotherapy, creative art therapy, cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), psychoanalysis (a lot of which was twice a week). Not to mention groups run by the local health trust - stress, creative art therapy and relationship groups. I've also attended independent self help groups for depression and social anxiety.
I'm not stuck like this for lack of effort! This thing has had everything thrown at it. And I still really feel like no-one who's ever treated me has really "got it" or understood what I needed. But then I have no solution either. One therapist said to me that my previous learning (in psychology) must have been really useful to me when I had my breakdown. Sadly not. You can't study what it feels like to have a breakdown or have no personality.
Mainly therapy has simply increased my instability and pain. The only one which did have a slightly positive effect was the CAT which I actually found quite empowering. But it is a fixed short course of therapy (unlike the others) and I feel I needed much much longer for it to have made any lasting positive impact. I also don't think it was the type of therapy per se which had the effect, but the therapist herself. If I could have had a year with her then maybe the outcome would have been more beneficial. And that's one of the problems on the NHS, you don't really get to chose your therapist. You just get who you're given. Of course you can turn down a therapist, but then you're back on the waiting list 'til who knows when.
My last lot of therapy - the psychoanalysis (which ended summer 2008) - was the most damaging. It plunged me into total chaos again. Which is where I was until spring this year. Now I'm simply back in nowheresville.
And still they keep it coming! They are now offering me a three year package of individual psychotherapy, group therapy plus fortnightly support group meetings to run concurrently (as the judge always says). I jokingly said to the Head of Psychotherapy, "So I get out of jail when I'm 40 then??!!" She didn't really appreciate it.
I've turned it down so far as just being too much to take on at the moment. Given the lack of any progress in the past it just seems ridiculous to carry on doing something that only makes me feel worse. It's still on the table though. Mainly because it's the only thing they have to offer me now.
I'm gutted that therapy was so useless for me. I was a true believer in it. I started studying psychology all those years ago because I actually wanted to be a therapist myself. What a joke! I find it hard to sustain any belief in it at all now. I've never known anybody who was seriously mentally ill actually benefit from it. Obviously I can see it may be of some use for people who merely need to make personality adjustments. But that ain't me.
The other suggestion made by some was about faith. I am an atheist. But at this point I'd like to thank those people who said they'd keep me in their prayers. I do appreciate that. I wish I did believe in god because then when I was awake in the middle of the night I wouldn't feel alone. It's wonderful to feel that there is a being of some sort looking over you, taking care of you etc. But belief is belief and not pretending to believe. It's not something you can fake in my opinion.
Strangely enough I did believe in god for the first 18 months after my breakdown. I mean totally believe. I went from being a complete atheist before to a complete believer. There was no doubt in my mind. But I was able to believe in god for that time because I was completely not myself. It was as though a line had been drawn down on my life and everything I was before was alien to me. I couldn't even begin to understand that person anymore. After those first 18 months I came out of that initial headspace and was then unable to believe anymore.
I do believe however in spirit guides due to my own experiences and the healing I have received. But a spirit guide, to me, is a guide that helps you get where you want to be, if it is possible. They don't show you the way, or answer your wishes/ prayers. They don't have the all encompassing power supposedly had by god. They can't show me the answer to my problems.
I say I believe in guides but I don't claim to understand how this thing works. I have no knowledge about my guide.
Well, that's all got a bit deep hasn't it!
I did feel a sense of relief for having got all that shit out last time - so thank you for reading it. It's weird that it makes a difference to have put it out there in public, rather than just writing it down for myself - which I have done many times previously. I don't know why it makes such a difference though.
I can see for example the extent to which I am hung up on not being able to have a "normal" or "proper" job. Really hung up on that. But now it occurs to me I will just have to hope in the future to find something I can do working on my own/ for myself.
I had reached a stage of feeling that there's no point in trying anything in any sphere anymore. But now I think I'm just going to have to try for the best quality of life I can - which is certainly higher than I have right now ie stopping bingeing and getting back on an even keel with my eating and blood sugar level. This would be beneficial on every level. My behaviour, while not deliberate of course, is only making things much worse. Like Fitcetera says, "stop doing what hurts".
I will have to think for much longer to come up with an answer as to how I can be me again. Any suggestions ....? All thoughts gratefully received.
In the meantime, there was no washing this Tue due to work going on in the basement so I was let off the hook! So no bingeing on Tue or Wed. The bad news is that I binged continuously from the Thursday - Monday before that.
My healer also sent me a card which arrived on Wed. A beautiful card with a lovely message in it. I was able to ring her after that and made an appointment for 2nd Nov to go and see her. Maybe having that goal will help me get myself together a bit.
I think the best thing I can do from here is to a) think how I might go about reforming my headspace into something useful which will enable me to lead a happier more productive life, and b) try (yet again) to improve my physical health by eating healthier and slowly building up my walking time.
So thanks for all your input. I am feeling slightly more positive now. Only slightly mind ...
2 hours ago