Category Archives: mental health

Tourette’s is no joke

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*sigh*
I had this same rant a couple of weeks ago , well , not this actual rant but it was about the same subject.
Fighting ignorance is a long fight and so here I am again.
The thing is , the thing that’s really riled me is that so many people ( so many) think Tourette’s is a joke.
Well it’s fucking not. that’s not me having Tourette’s there , that’s just me swearing because swearing isn’t ‘ like having Tourette’s ‘
A couple of weeks ago it was the ” find your Tourette’s name “crap that I kept seeing on Facebook. But it’s not just that it’s those pictures that say ” talking on the phone to someone with kids is like talking to someone with Tourette’s ” no it isn’t !! and those that say ” since having children I’ve developed mild Tourette’s ” no you haven’t !
Nothing is like having Tourette’s ,
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition (affecting the brain and nervous system) that is characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements called tics.
( taken from the nhs choices website)

It’s uncomfortable and painful and often embarrassing. It’s frustrating and upsetting .
Sometimes you need medication to make it less so.
That’s what it is.
It isn’t funny , it’s not a joke , it’s not trivial.
Not everyone with Tourette’s swears. It’s much more than that. It’s words , noises , sounds , movements , jerks , spasms , tics . Randomly , constantly .
Swearing a lot and then saying ” it’s like I’ve got Tourette’s ” is ( in my opinion ) disrespectful to people that do have it. It also shows a great deal of ignorance about what Tourette’s is.
I have two boys with Tourette’s. We don’t sit here with a chip on our shoulders crying because of the tragedy of Tourette’s , my boys will often laugh at their own tics but they do have Tourette’s and that’s how they cope with it.
I don’t get annoyed about this because I’m bitter that my boys have it , I get annoyed because of ignorance .
Making jokes about Tourette’s when you don’t have it , have no experience of it and don’t even understand it and comparing trivial stupid things to it are part of the reason why people don’t actually understand it and why people think it is just a trivial thing .

It’s not funny.

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I see you there ! ( anxiety)

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I thought you were gone
But I see you there
Lulled me Into an almost peace
Now you’re back
Everywhere
You creep into my mind
And see the thoughts
I try so hard to contain
You take a hold
And blow them up
Until they’re all too big again.
You take my fears and worries
You distort them
Like it’s a game
I try my best to keep you out
But here you are again.
You may be back , but
You will not pull me under
Not this time.
I am stronger.
You’re not welcome any more.
In time I will be brave enough
To keep you from my door.

Empty

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Two weeks ago I went to see my gp because I was a mess
I wasn’t sleeping atall , maybe two hours a night for a good few weeks.
I was anxious and I felt unbearably sad.
Not sad over anything in particular. Just sad deep in my soul. About everything.
My gp increased my citalopram from 20 to 40 mg. and gave me diazepam for the panics and to help me sleep. Since them I’ve made a conscious effort to help myself feel better.
Taking my tablets regularly.
Sleeping much better ( but not great)
Eating much better. No junk has passed my lips. I’m eating healthy dinners.
I’m eating 3 meals a day.
I would often only have one.
And drinking fresh juices. ( the good ones – innocent )
And I must say I’m not feeling nearly as anxious. And the feel of unbearable sadness has gone.
But the problem is I’m not feeling much atall. I’m tired ( though I’m sleeping more) I feel empty.
I haven’t even got any anger , I don’t mean raging anger , I just can’t even be bothered to nag.,when the kids just don’t do anything I ask. I’ve got no oomph. I’m just empty going through the motions.
Is this normal. Do the meds need more time.
Is the real me just …. Empty.

I haven’t even been on twitter because I’ve needed head space and time with the kids. And now I’m tweeting again I feel a bit invisible. I want to be able to say yoohoo I’m still here. I’m just struggling a bit.

I haven’t blogged because I feel I’ve totally lost my way with my blog. I’m sure what it is. Or what it should be.So i guess I feel a bit empty about the blog too.

I miss it though. Blogging.

I don’t even
Know what I’m trying to say here.
Maybe just that I’m still here , still wanting to tweet …. Still wishing I could get the blog going again but I’m struggling.

Waiting for the emptiness to pass.

Person under train

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I’m not sure of the figures but my attempts at googling suggest there are around at least 50 incidents of suicide on the London Underground per year.
And every time it happens a quick look at twitter fills me with dismay at the attitudes of so many people.

Today a person committed suicide on the Victoria line and once again there was a deluge of tweets calling the person selfish. And suggesting that If you want to commit suicide do it somewhere that doesn’t disrupt others.
Now I’ve never been in the position where I have been driven to the point of wanting to throw myself under a train and I don’t know goes through somebody’s mind at that point but I’m absolutely sure that it’s not a desire to cause disruption or to annoy commuters.
Nobody decides to commit suicide just to piss people off. To come to a point where you want to end your life your mind ( I imagine) is not in a rational place.
It’s obviously very inconvenient if your journey is delayed by a person under a train , people will be late for work , school , meetings , appointments , but a Person has been in such a dark place that they have ended their life in a horrific manner. Surely that’s the most important thing. Somebody’s son or daughter. Somebody’s loved one.
It’s a tragedy , for the person under the train , and for their family and friends , for everybody else it is an inconvenience.
I have endless sympathy for all people involved such as the emergency service men and women and station staff who have to witness and deal with the terrible aftermath , as well as the train driver , and anyone who witnesses the incident , I imagine it’s something that stays with them and in most cases I’m sure has a profound effect.
But those people who are inconvenienced by delays , they will get where they are going eventually , meetings and appointments can be rearranged , the repercussions probably won’t last and when all is said and done they will get home.
The person under the train will never get home.

It can happen to anyone

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Late last night I saw something that both saddened and sickened me as well as making me extremely angry.
I saw people taking to twitter to be vile and abusive about a desperate man , clearly in crisis …… It’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen , it’s no wonder there is so much stigma attatched to mental health.

The M42 , a major motorway in the midlands was closed yesterday at around 12pm and remains closed this morning as I write this , at 7:45 .
It’s closed because a man is threatening to jump and negotiations have been taking place all through the night. The police have closed it for the safety of both the man and the people travelling by car.
I can fully understand that people who were stuck in stationary traffic for many hours were angry. It must have been incredibly frustrating for anyone travelling , especially those travelling with young children and babies or elderly people.
People wouldn’t have been able to get to work or perhaps weddings or days out …… BUT a man , a fellow human being has reached a point of such desperation and despair that they have been driven to stand on the outside edge of a bridge and seriously contemplate ending it all. I can only imagine the agony and turmoil of that poor man.
I have no idea of this mans background or what has driven him to this point , I don’t know his mental health history but he is someone’s son , grandchild , possibly a brother , an uncle , a husband , a father , a friend. He is a human being in crisis and there but for the grave of god go I .

I read tweets last night that turned my stomach , tweets saying things like
hurry up and jump

Why doesn’t someone go and push him , get it over and done with

Why don’t the police get helicopters up there , they might blow him off the bridge

If I was going to end it I wouldn’t do it on a busy motorway so the traffic would be held up all day

If you really wanted to jump you would just jump

A man wanted some attention so he’s standing over the edge of a bridge

There were many more similar tweets.
I even saw people posting photos of the man , captioned ” the suspect ”
…… He’s not a suspect , he’s a man in turmoil. Maybe he has been to afraid or ashamed to seek help , maybe he has sought help and it hasn’t been enough.
I don’t know.
I see tweets of a similar nature whenever a poor tortured soul jumps in front of a train.
And it makes me ashamed , ashamed of the society that mocks these people , that cares only about the inconvenience to themselves .

Such tweets can only add to the stigma that surrounds mental health.
And imagine reading these tweets if you were suffering , feeling like you wanted to harm yourself or commit suicide , these tweets only reinforce the ( very wrong) idea that feeling this way is something to be ashamed of.

NOBODY CHOOSES
To have depression , nobody chooses to have suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Depression chooses you , it chooses without discrimination , it can choose anybody at anytime
It can affect any one of us regardless of who we are.

Nobody should be mocked.
Where is the compassion?
Where is the understanding ?

I hope the man on the M42 receives the help he needs and that this situation is resolved safely.
And I hope that the people who publicly mocked this man feel some shame over their words.

if you need help please don’t be afraid to ask for it , don’t be ashamed to talk about how you feel , if you are not able or ready to speak to your family , friends or your gp you can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90

or if you are under 19 and you need help please call child line on 0800 11 11 this call will be free of charge and private and confidential.

Outrage ….

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I’m not one of life’s permanently offended. I don’t do general outrage because I just don’t have the space in my head right now for the worries of the world.
Yesterday I saw the twitter debates about GTA. I Read with interest but I couldn’t be bothered to throw my two pennies worth in. I don’t believe children should be allowed to play games like GTA I think they are totally inappropriate but it’s not my place to decide whether or not another parent is right or wrong to let their child play it.

But then later in the evening I saw something that really did cause outrage. I was outraged.
Asda selling the mental patient fancy dress costume.
Mental illness is never something to be joked about. Mental illness can have terrible effects on the lives of those who suffer as well as those around them.
Mental illness can split up families , cause people to lose money , their homes , their sense of worth , self esteem , their lives.

What’s funny about that.
And mental health patients don’t walk around smeared in blood brandishing an axe. They look just like you and me.
Chances are they are you and me.

I think asda was hugely insensitive putting this costume on sale.
So much needs to be done to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
And asda have simply made a joke out if it.

This mornings I continue to be angry because I’ve seen a lot of people on twitter and Facebook ( the usual lot who like to show they aren’t outraged by anything by being outraged about the outrage) moaning that “it’s only a costume , what’s all the fuss.
It’s funny , all the fun is being taken out of Halloween”.
I’m not offended by zombies , ghosts , ghouls , witches , wizards , grim reapers , I think plenty of fun can be had without ridiculing the mentally ill.
I don’t want to see the fun taken out of Halloween.
Its not only a costume , it makes light of something that effects a vulnerable group of people.

I’m angry that people thing it’s ok to let something like this go unchallenged.

Would they be so blasé about it if they were affected in any way by mental illness.

Why do we not protect the vulnerable people in our society.

Take that first step…….. Just do it

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Anxiety
If happens to most of us at some point
You dont choose it , it chooses you
It doesnt make you a lesser person
But it can have a huge detrimental impact on your life

When you are already in the grasp of anxiety
Asking for help can be scary
It can feel like a mountain you just cant climb

But the thing is you must ask for help
For yourself And for the sake of those that depend on you

You must climb that mountain
If it takes every bit of strength you have to climb that mountain

Because trust me when you have climbed it
You will be on your way to the first step of
Getting better

If that mountain takes all your strength , dont fear ,
there will be more strength for you on the other side
There will I promise you !

Pick up your phone and make an appointment
with the gp you feel most comfortable with
If the nosey receptionist asks what its about whisper to her that you have an itchy bum.she will soon wish she hadn’t been so nosey.

You have been brave already …. Making the appointment

Now find support
Find a RL person to go with you , hold your hand
Or if you prefer find virtual support
I sat in the waiting room this morning tweeting and texting 3 lovely ladies from twitter
They gave me courage
Reassured me that i wouldn’t look stupid
And made me believe i could do it.

When you see the gp , Do not be afraid to cry
lay your cards on the table , be honest , ask for help

Then you have done the hardest part

And now things will start to get easier

Then go and have a cup of tea and a biscuit and tweet your favourite twitters tell them how proud you are

seriously if you are suffering from anxiety and its impacting on your life , make that phone call , take a deep breath …. Dial and know that you are doing the right thing, a massively brave thing

please , do it …..do it now .and if you need support to help you do it just Ask

you will be okay , I promise you

And if you know someone who needs support ,hold out your hand , tell them it will be okay and show them the way ….please

Something to hold on to.

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I’ve blogged about how things are getting on top of me , I’m struggling.
I’ve been feeling like its too much and nothing will ever be right again.

Tonight O asked to go to bed early , at 8:10 pm , he had a very difficult day at school today , he wasn’t able to cope in the classroom at all , he also still has a bit of a cold and he’s already nervous because tomorrow is a PRU day.
He has to give it a try.
He’s worried.
The walk home from school was tense.
O was stressed. I was stressed.
I had a terrible migraine.
I felt sick , dizzy , exhausted. I went straight to my bed.

But …. Tonight while I was laying on my bed with O as he fell asleep It struck me that yes we had a bad day , a terrible day. But we got through it.
We had come to the end of the day
And we were on my bed with a kitten and a dog snuggled up at the bottom , with supper in our bellies.
And we were ok.
We had smiled , and laughed , and we were together , all of us at home and we were ok.
And it was good.

And tomorrow may not be the best day , things may go wrong , it might be a struggle but at the end we will be ok.

And if we are ok then we have done well.
And if the day feels a bit crazy ….. There will be calm at bedtime.

If it feels a bit hard to breath …. The breathing will come easier at the end of the day. When we settle down and I can hear O breathing and snoring and I can hear the rest of the kids , and the pets, breathing and snoring.

And if we feel a bit alone …… At the end of the day we will be together around the dinner table , and all squashed on the sofas together watching TV , and at bedtime we will be safe and warm at home together.

That’s what I need to hold onto.

Anxiety …. We meet again.

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My old friend is back .
It’s been a while.
I haven’t missed it .
But I can feel its coming back.
Taking a hold again.
Pulling me down.
Waking up in the night feeling like I can’t breathe , anger, panic, fear bubbling under the surface.
Dreading Every morning , starting the will they won’t they go to school / college again.
Last week I didn’t win.
Every time I don’t win it feels like a big knock.
A failure on my part.
Restlessness.
Panic. Over small things.
The mice are affecting me far more than they probably should.
Panic everytime I need to go in the kitchen.
Is it my fault.
Is my house disgusting ?
I’m trying. But maybe not enough.
The panic at home time is back.
My heart thumping in my tight chest
Has O coped?
Is he ok at school
Should he be at home with me instead Of school.
Am I getting it all wrong ?
I try to put a smile on.
But O knows I’m worried.
I’m not faking it well enough.

Am I good enough at any of this.
Am I doing any of it right.

I know my gp will tell me to go back on the medication
I don’t want more medication I take enough already.

I hope the anxiety doesn’t stick around long this time , until it goes I will be feeling lost and alone and in too deep again.
Not a feeling I like.

Diagnosis autism

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Following my letter of complaint to CAMHS I was offered an appointment for last Thursday , which was surprising as I was previously told it wouldn’t be until the end of October.

I was very nervous before the appointment and was actually feeling a little guilty about the letter , but my mum came with me for a bit of support.

We managed to get both of the boys to the appointment without too much palava , which was a small miracle .

The consultant psychiatrist was extremely thorough and he asked ALOT of questions , explained lots of things , chatted , and further assessed both boys. It’s amazing what a complaint can do.
We had a two hour consultation , he formally diagnosed O with autism and tics.
He has prescribed Melatonin to help O sleep at night and hopefully help me to start being able to leave him to go to sleep on his own.
He is also going to start O on medication for his tics. He’s already asked the gp to arrange the ECG that O needs before he starts the medication so hopefully he will be able to start taking it soon.
He’s also making a referral to the autism advisory service , I believe the school have already done this but it’s good that now they will have his proper diagnosis .
The psychiatrist also said I need to start planning secondary schools already. As he needs somewhere with ALOT support.
O has taken the melatonin twice now , I give it to him at 8 , by 9 he’s very sleepy so I’ve taken him up to bed at 9 and so far it’s taken 15 minutes for him to fall asleep , rather than 2-3 hours , and no screaming tantrum.
On Monday I going to start leaving him on his own in bed. I need to do it before he goes back to school as it will be too stressful for him to do it then.

The psychiatrist also finally diagnosed my 17 y/o , he has been under CAMHS since he was 9.
At first I was told he was just ‘misbehaving’ I was even referred to parenting classes.
Then at 14 when he was no longer able to cope with going to school and stopped leaving the house he was diagnosed with depression and social phobia , he also has tourrettes.
He was never statemented or given any real help when he struggled in school. Nor when he tried , and couldn’t cope with college in September.
He has been formally diagnosed with autism , social anxiety , tourrettes and OCD. Like O he has been given melatonin to try and help him sleep at night.As he usually stays up all night and sleep for a few hours in the day. And after an ECG he will also get new medication for his tics. He’s staying on sertraline for now , I just need to push him to take it regularly.
The psychiatrist will be referring him for CBT. And also helping him to get special needs help in college. He wants to try again !
His support worker will be seeing him twice a week to get him out of the house and help him to learn to manage being out and around people.
I’m angry that it took this long to get help. But , I think we are on the right track now. It’s not too late !

The psychiatrist chatted ALOT about autism , explaining it to the boys and talked about famous people that have had / got autism. And he said at the end of the appointment that …the most important thing is that people around the boys ( ie college , school, anyone who works with them , family )understand that this is who the boys are , the autism is part of their personality and nobody should try to make them change , just help them to be who they are.

I’m not upset to get a diagnosis for the Boys because I already knew. I think I have come to terms with it already. And I think that now we can move forward and help them both to do as well as they can.

There were apologies , and the psychiatrist told me that he has been asking his manager for help for years. And that it keeps being promised but never happens. Apparently he was promised £300,000 for CAMHS this year but It didn’t happen.
He said that he has tried to help my boys sooner ( aswell as other patients) but that the children self harming and trying to commit suicide have to come first for him , which I think goes without saying. I completely understand that but there should be someone other than just him to deal with patients that otherwise stay at the bottom of the pile.
It’s disgraceful that CAMHS are not able to help young children properly.
How many of the children that stay at the bottom of the pile become those who are self harming and suicidal ??
I don’t know ! But I bet it’s quite a lot.

I am glad I made a complaint because while I understand CAMHS are understaffed and underfunded my priority has to be my boys.
And I hope that if people do complain the people in charge of the purse strings will one day see that they need to do more.

Change won’t happen unless it is demanded.