Saturday, 5 February 2011

Crisis team visit

I have had a visit from the crisis team. They called about 2:30 and checked it was ok to come, and arrived about an hour later. It was a man and a woman, both of whom I have seen before, but don't really remember much about. I had a vague recollection of the man when I saw him but if he hadn't said that he had seen me before I doubt I would have remembered. The woman I recognised by her voice - she has a lovely Irish accent, and so when she spoke I remembered seeing her before. It all feels a bit of a blur, I feel a bit like I have been hit by a bus. Not implying that they were bus-like or anything. It is just exhausting. The man did all the talking whilst the woman wrote notes.

They asked how I was, and I fairly stupidly said ok. Because it seems like the polite reply? What I find confusing about the crisis team is that they ask questions that either they already know the answer to, or if they don't then they should, as it would only take a quick peek at the notes. There seemed to be a bit of confusion as they started by saying I had switched GPs to the one I go to now, and that I used to be under another county, and I said yes, but that was two and a half years ago. I have been under the care of the crisis team since then. They then went on to say I had been under a CMHT in the other county, and I said yes, but again, that was two and a half years ago, and I have been under my current one since, and they then asked if I was still under my current team and who my care coordinator was, and when I last saw her. Surely this is all fairly simple stuff that would literally have taken a quick glance at my notes to find out? Anyway, then they said I had been to my GP yesterday and told her I was feeling depressed and suicidal and so she had referred me to them. It sounded slightly accusatory - I really didn't want them to think I was being attention seeking and to be written off as being another Borderline etc. I explained that I see my GP monthly and yesterday was just a routine appointment, but that obviously we had discussed how I was feeling. They asked some questions about how my mood was, how long it had been like it etc, and asked what had concerned my GP and made her contact them, and I said that she hadn't said she was concerned, but presumably saying I was suicidal? Seemed a bit obvious to be honest.... They asked about medication and I said that I was only on PRN Diazepam (again, perhaps check the notes?) but that when I spoke to L earlier in the week she had said perhaps it was time to consider medication again, and they agreed with that and said that they thought I should see Dr E. It is all a bit vague. I was finding a lot of things quite distracting - my head for a start, but then I have been having a lot of issues with external noises lately - I can't even have music or the TV on in the background like I would usually as I find it stressful and irritating, so noises like the wind howling (and my house is 16th century and therefore one big draft - the wind really howls) and the dog barking etc make me very tense. It appears that this was obvious in the way that I was behaving, because at one point when I talked about how difficult it was to distract myself because of not liking any noise, they said that they had noticed how tense and agitated I seemed by the dog barking and when the wind got louder etc. They talked about my sleep and went through the usual things of no caffeine too late at night, try having a bath before bed to relax you, try taking extra Diazepam etc. They asked about getting out of the house and seeing friends etc, and I said I didn't really see any friends, and that apart from my appointment with my GP yesterday I last left the house on Wednesday for rehearsal. They asked about my suicidal thoughts, and I talked for a few minutes about wanting to die, and how I feel it is perfectly reasonable given how long I have been feeling bad for etc. I think it was around this time the woman took over the talking. I liked her voice. Her accent was soothing. They asked if I thought about suicide methods, and I said constantly, and they asked if I could tell them what. I hesitated over this for a minute, as I didn't want anything taken from me or anything, so I said that I didn't really like talking about a plan. They asked if there was anything I could do to make myself safer so that I would be less likely to act on it, like give them anything, and I said that at the moment I didn't feel like I wanted to be safe - that I wanted to be able to act on the thoughts, because I didn't want to be alive. They asked if I would call if I needed to - if I was feeling worse, and I tried to explain what I had said to the man yesterday - that if I was feeling like I was going to act on my thoughts then I couldn't call because I would be too determined by that point and I wouldn't want help.

She got a bit tougher at that point - prior to then she had been quite softly spoken and gentle, and I kind of assumed she was just that type, but she got a lot more kind of authoritative and assertive and I realised she wasn't the type of person to try and bullshit actually. She went on to talk about supporting me over the weekend - she said they could call me tomorrow, and visit again if necessary, and that then on Monday they would talk to L about what the best option was, but that I had to be willing to work with them and to try and keep myself safe etc. She said one of the things that I would be expected to do was call them if I needed to, if I was feeling at risk or something. I said I understood what she was saying, but that I would not be able to call if I was feeling like I was going to act on my thoughts, because if things felt any worse and I was feeling any more overwhelmed then I wouldn't want help. She said she understood that, but that she would want me to call before it got to that point, if I felt like things were getting worse, rather than waiting until it was at the point where I was about to kill myself. That made sense, but at the same time it didn't - if things were any worse then I would be at the point where I was about to kill myself. That was why I had told my GP and the crisis team man I spoke to last night how I was feeling. I don't think there would be a middle step between here, and being at the point where it was too late for me to want help. I was feeling ambivalent about it anyway. So I wasn't really sure what to do about that, and I'm still not to be honest. I am feeling unsafe, although I think I can probably get through tonight because it isn't a night I would consider suitable, but I am struggling with that. For some reason I didn't know how to put that into words, so I couldn't explain, so I just said that I would try. She said how the crisis team is an alternative to hospital admission, and how obviously in hospital you have staff around you all the time, which you obviously don't with them, but that was why they gave out this number, and to call it if I needed to talk to someone. And that was more or less it really. Or at least it wasn't, but it was all I can remember.

I am not sure what to feel. I am absolutely exhausted. I have been writing this on and off for 4 hours now - they hadn't long left when I started it, and it is now 8:30. My head is all over the place. I just can't think or concentrate and I am finding my thoughts really distracting. I am glad they weren't completely dismissive like I was concerned they might be, but I am still feeling unsure about whether I can get through this, even with their support. I do feel like I need to see them again tomorrow, but it is difficult as my parents will be home all day, and I feel extremely uncomfortable trying to talk to someone if my parents are in the house, partly because I am worried about being overhead, and that makes me not want to be honest, and partly because I don't trust them not to insist on speaking to my parents as has happened in the past, which I don't think is fair when I am an adult who just happens to live with my parents. I am so tired, and I have a headache, but I think that if I try and sleep now I will wake up in a few hours and not be able to get back to sleep. I don't know what to think about everything. I need to stop writing because trying to think is hurting my head.


  1. I am glad they are going t contact you tommorow and you were honest in saying you might not be able to call. I get what you meant, it seems bizare because if you wated to realy die why would you ring anyone for help? . And if you cant maybe they may suggest hospital next week which is scary but if it allows you some safety without having to be responsible for yourself, then it may be worth it. thinking of you anyhow. (hugs) La-reve x

  2. Just wanted to let you know I read this, hon, and I'm glad you're getting more support from the crisis team. Sounds like they are taking you seriously. Let them help you. You deserve it. Call them if you feel you need to at all, it's their job to be there for you. You've basically said that if you feel any worse you will do something silly, that there isn't a point between here and acting on your thoughts, so you *are* at crisis point.
    It's so hard to explain how you feel when you feel so crappy, isn't it? It sounds like you did pretty well.
    Meds should help - I am surprised you aren't on antidepressants already. Make sure you do get to see Dr E about that, hon.
    I hope tomorrow goes well. There is no way the crisis team should involve your parents without your consent, exactly, you're an adult. Maybe you should specifically discuss that with them as soon as they arrive - that way you can make sure they're on side, and work with them to ensure you're not overheard.
    Take care hon, one minute at a time.

  3. Thank you both for the support.

    La reve - I very much doubt they will suggest hospital, as on Monday they will ask L what she thinks about me seeing them etc, and will probably discharge me - they certainly wouldn't admit me.

    Butterfly - Calling them is hard. Very hard actually. Like part of me feels like I could really do with speaking with someone tonight, but after 9pm it is just one person on call from home, ie as a team they finish work at 9, and someone takes the work phone home and is the person who is contacted if someone needs them, and I would feel really guilty about calling and waking them up or whatever if it was just that I needed to talk rather than because I was about to do something, but if it was at the about to do something point I couldn't call. It's hard. But yes, I basically don't feel like there is a point between how I am now and acting on my thoughts, which makes it difficult to call if things get worse. I have been on anti depressants in the past, but none seemed to help really so Dr E took me off them, and hasn't ever been keen to restart me. And I know they shouldn't involve my parents without my consent, but it has happened a lot of times in the past with both the crisis team and the CMHT - they say that if you are at risk and they are concerned about your safety then they can break confidentiality, which I really hate. I don't know what to do really. I guess I need to try and be honest with them when they call in the morning, but it is so hard.


  4. Sounds like you went through a lot ... hope you are feeling more positive.

  5. I know it's so hard to be honest, hon, but you're right you need to try - just do the best you can.
    Oh yeah, I automatically reply that I'm OK/ fine when asked how I am, even if the truth is I'm feeling shit...ah, socialisation.
    Yes they can break confidentiality, I didn't mean to sound as if I was telling you things you already know, but they probably shouldn't have done - I was told even if the person isn't in a state to give consent you should get their assent. Don't feel guilty about calling them if you need to talk - exactly, you wouldn't be able to if you were at the point of no return, and being close to that point is a perfectly legitimate reason for calling them. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, whatever your depression is telling you right now.
    Glad you checked out Maytree. Yeah, it is a shame that you can only go once. If I had money I would fund similar centres all over the country where people could stay as long as they want, as many times as they want...well ok maybe there should be some limits, to stop people using it as a crutch, but more than once for sure.
    I know it doesn't feel like it now, but you don't have to get through this alone, you don't have to make it so hard on yourself, it already is so hard. If it would help to go there now, think about it - don't worry about next time. I know depression comes back again and again, but honestly, you don't need to be thinking about that right now, try not to. It's probably pointless telling you that you can recover, or at least you can learn to manage depression, with the right support. I know that's easy to say and so hard to do, especially when you're *not* getting the support you need. I know you've been depressed for years and nothing has helped *yet* but try to believe that this will pass and yes of course it won't go away overnight, but things will get easier.
    It may be that another antidepressant does work for you...or mood stabilisers might? It's up to you and Dr E of course, I'm not a psychiatrist.
    (I messaged you back on Twitter, but of course you can have access to my blog, just need your e-mail - tried to get it from your contact details on here but it didn't work for some reason, message me on Twitter or e-mail is SpeechIsFree at yahoo.com. Anyone else is also welcome to do that).
    I hope you start to feel a little better hon.

  6. I guess I need to try and be honest with the crisis team when they call in the morning. In some ways I have felt even worse this afternoon/evening - think it is just desperation, as although I know I can call, I would be so unlikely to do that, and it's just so difficult feeling so bad. I am still just feeling like carrying on like this isn't an option, even with their support, and I am not quite sure how to say that. xxx