The Effexor effect. 

Well been out of hospital for over a week now, to be honest I’m not sure how much time has passed, probably two weeks. 

I’m not sleeping all day and in the waking hours crying my heart out.  This must be progress if anything. 

I seem relatively productive but not fully yet. The anti depressants seem to be having the desired effect, I’m not consumed by tears of despair. Still there’s that feeling of hopeleness that’s terribly frustrating. I feel anxious but it seems dimmed slightly by medication, I can feel it there but it’s not so intense. Sleep is less, before I was awake for maybe 6 hours or so here and there but now I seem to be sleeping at night and not during the day. I guess my body is finally rested from the recent stress I’ve endured. 

It’s funny looking back and remembering myself in the midst of my worst despair, when the tears wouldn’t stop flowing and the pain in my chest was tight and painful. I thought at that point it would never stop. But it has. Till the next crisis I guess. But I have to learn the skills to avoid the next feeling of distress. I’m not sure where to begin, I still feel like I’ve been through the worst months of my life and things feel a bit surreal. Not sure if thats the effect of my medication or I’m just slightly traumatized by recent stay in hospital and all the hurt and distress my family and friends went through. 

Depression really is an illness that effects not just you but everyone around you. That only adds to the overwhelming sadness. Guilt is a hard thing. I find it terribly hard. 

I’m not really sure where to go from here, I’m like a lamb without its mother, calling out for attention but just wondering aimlessly around. I want to have a purpose, go to work or college but worried it’s too soon to commit to anything. When will be the right time though? 

I feel I’ve lost my sense of self, my own identity. Who am I? What is my purpose? I’m thinking too much. But that’s nothing new. I look in the mirror but I’m not sure about myself, people tell me I’m pretty but what I see is totally different. I feel ugly and very self conscious. I just want to shut my eyes and pretend I can’t see myself. 

Recently though I haven’t let much inspiration to write, now my feelings are somewhat dulled by the tablets I don’t have any ideas to write. It’s like my inspiration comes when my feelings are rawest. Right now I just have no words. Just dribble. 

Thank god for medication but I’m missing my inspiration. 

What it’s like inside a psychiatric hospital. 

Ever wonder what it’s like being inside a psychiatric hospital? I knew I had previously wondered what it would be like.

This is my second visit, both voluntary admissions. Means I’m here of my own accord, however that doesn’t mean you can leave when you want to. Once your in and your ‘state’ has been assessed the nurses and doctors can then decide if they don’t wish you to leave, you try and leave but they can have you brought back. So a voluntary admission requires some careful thought but it’s unlikely if your in any kind of distress that your up to making any informed decisions at that point.

Firstly you have your room, it’s bare and austere. You have your bed, a bedside table and the doorless cupboard, incase you so have the desire to hide, you won’t be doing it in there. There’s probably a more logical reason to it but I’m not entirely sure. Keep in mind the place is suppose to be a safe and secure environment. What else is there, oh yes, one plastic red chair, don’t sit in it too long or your bottom will hurt, definitely an uncomfortable piece of furniture. It is however bright red, the only colour to invade the dullness of the insipid room.

Also you have an ensuite bathroom that you cannot lock, just a sliding door, this probably causes many some uneasiness with some patients I can imagine. Consists of a shower, a basin and a toilet with sensors instead of taps or levers. There is a shower curtain and shower rail… but no cupboard doors, my mind fails me. As you can see I can be a bit sarcastic. There’s also a bit on top of the cupboard to stop you climbing on it, like you would but I suppose every danger has to be assessed and seen to, to me though theres much more hazardous things to be found.

When you first come your taken to your bedroom, the lifeless dorm, and asked lots of questions by the nurses and doctors and your vitals are taken. Blood pressure etc. Your belongings are then searched, valuables have to be accounted for, and objects such as tweezers and shaving razors have to be taken to be out in a cupboard in the office. Same for medication or any kinds of pills like paracetamol. Here comes some sarcasm again…. I can’t have my tweezers, however!, I have my straighteners which has a four metre cable…. and the potential to burn oneself, I have however no desire to but I have seen the wounds inflicted by others facing many different troubles to themselves, so this itself is a hazard I would have thought. I forgot my own razor anyway so I asked the nurse if I could buy some at the shop and if and how I was allowed to use them. She said she could let me have one but when I was finished with imthe razor it was to be given back for them to put in the cupboard. That was last night, yes I still have it. Again no desire to use it in anyway to harm myself but I’m sure someone would see it as an opportunity.

I guess you may be wondering about other patients, I don’t like to judge. But of course there’s troubled souls here. You hear the shouting and protests from the patients I guess are either bored and agitated or simply just drugged up on their medication. There’s one guy who loves to strum away endlessly with his fender guitar and sing loudly at stupid times of the night, which is yes, is very frustrating, but I admit when they told him to keep it down and he said ‘Why what you going to do?’ and proceeded to strum away and laugh insanely I was a bit worried. He was a harmless gent, an interesting fellow, he just didn’t like to do as he was told, his facetious manner was at times quite amusing but I felt for the nurses perpetually contending with him.

Suppose you may be wondering about myself? Why was I here? After all being in a psychiatric ward means I’m facing some kind of infirm state. I suffer major recurring depression and anxiety, previously treated for PTSD back in my rebellious adolescence. This time though the depression was irrepressible, it’s consumed me completely and I just could not function. My body had given up,shut  down, it was in complete anguish and the tears where endless beads of the pain I felt flowing out of eyes but as they left they built up again inside leaving me angry and frustrated at my suffering. How had I let it get to this? The CPN suggested hospital, so I guess on his professional advice I decided it was for the best. I didn’t want to go but I felt that for the sake of my family and friends around me anxiously watching the intense pain I was feeling, it was something I had to do, for my sake and for theirs. The scared tears in my mothers eyes as I left for hospital, always comes back to mind and I use that memory to remind myself why I’m here and why I need to be better. They can’t suffer the anguish I’m suffering too, I had to fix it, with help from professionals. This couldn’t go on.

So I continue to stay here as I ponder over what could possibly change and I’m very unsure, but I’ll keep writing nonetheless. At least it seems it’s something I’m still capable of. A kind of outlet.

The night will consist of hourly checks till morning, the jaggling of keys heard every hour, the occasion cry or scream from a distressed patient, or some guitar playing from a fellow amusing patient. Music usually blares from one adjacent rooms at different times, footsteps up and down the dark green carpeted corridors and the murmurs of some confused patients.

It’s a rather distressing place to be in my opinion for someone in a depressed state, lots of anxiety inducing scenarios and long isolated days. To be at home with my family would be marvellous right now, but I need to be well, to renew my outlook on life. Only time will tell.

Be positive. Yeah. 

Yeah. That’s what your told. Wash, eat, thinking positively. If only I could just do that.

Can you relate? I bet many can. Knowone choses to feel miserable. You don’t wake up and think, today I’ll be unhappy when I could be content, erm no. Yet most seem to think you’ll just have to snap out of it.

Chemical imbalance, emotional childhood neglect, traumatic experiences,  genetic depression/anxiety. I don’t care for the reason anymore, just the cure, just some relief. My twenties are moving fast and the thoughts that I’m not enjoying the best years of my life only further plummets my mind into darkness.

Wash. I have tried relentlessly only to be reduced to a bubbling heap on the cold bathroom floor. I don’t want to smell! But I can’t muster the energy to push myself to care for my own basic needs, I look back in anguish at how I took these simple tasks for granted and now I’d be lucky to be able to lift the safety net of the duvet.

Eat. Each mouthful feels like like daggers going down my throat. I don’t desire to be thin, I’m not anorexic, I just can’t eat out of sheer hopelessness. The taste of the food doesn’t register with my brain, just a another pointless task in this fight to be here/not be here. Either is both as scary as the other. So I’m stuck in limbo.

Think positively? I would. But when life weighs you down and you don’t have the means, the money, or the strength to think let alone do something, how is it even possible. Mindfulness, I will try, but in current state of mind, no talking about living in the presence day offers any relief, any solace.

Sounds all so negative. I apologise. But these are my thoughts, the words that flood my mind constantly, how can ones brain be in a depressed state and yet my mind races with thoughts, with ideas that soon diminish as I feel the tears of despair rise up and come out onto my cheeks.

Anxiety, that’s what it is. Being depressed and being anxious, it’s like a living hell inside your mind. You want your body to work to function, to feel motivation, or any kind of enjoyment of something, then the anxiety slows you down. Your heart pounds in your chest, your stomach a flutter of disabling butterflies. You reach your clammy hands to your face only to realise that this cycle never seems to end, and again you avoided whatever task you were about to undertake. Fail. Another knock back.

Which is worse? Depression or anxiety? I’m still sitting on the decision that both are, however only having one would be a lot simpler.

Frustrated, despondent and morose 👇🏻

Holding onto life.

Well it feels like I’ve struck my darkest hour. The clock is loudly ticking but I’m standing still. Life seems utterly hopeless no matter how I try and convince my self otherwise, I can’t see even two minutes ahead. Seconds feel like minutes, minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days.

The dark cloud of depression is not slightly overcast, its fully cloudy. My future seems like its slipped from under my feet, I can’t catch it, nor have I the strength to try and grab it as it slips so far out of reach.

Depression is something that’s troubled me for years. Destroyed every relationship I desperately try and hold on to, every possible happy moment tarnished by its forceful grasp. Each relapse leaves me in a state of despair, will this ever be a burden that will lift, that will let my mind be free.

Go to the doctors, take a pill, numb the pain whilst your troubles lay dormant in the back of your unsettled mind. It hasn’t worked for me, 13 years diagnosed and still carrying the weight of the black dog. I want to remove the leash, send it away, but how?

I’ve researched all the ways of ‘healing’, again and again, explored all the possibilities. But without lots of money, this is an impossible task it seems.

I’ve found with what’s available from the health service is nothing but a long wait. Wait for an appointment for this or that, give you more drugs, wait a little longer. Its a frustrating never-ending circle. Your left to cry into your pillow with no relief but an occasional Valium from the doctor to lift the endless tears.

I’m left trying to hold onto life, to be set free of the disease of my mind.

 

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