Four ways of letting go and reducing suffering…
I’m going to use this blog post to make a day plan - I keep checking my Interior Design course to see if my last assignment has been marked - if I need to resubmit anything I only get 7 days - so I’ve been working all the time when I don’t have too many migraine symptoms (the assignment was a bit of a mess). I don’t have a migraine at the moment, so I keep anxiously checking. I know that I have so many other things to do and I can just let this go for now.
Tonight I’m also going to try an experiment. I’ve been cutting down on my quetiapine. This is not a thing I normally do, nor would I advocate. It was added to my daily med regimen to see if it would help me sleep and stabilize the mood swings from my hormone treatment. The psychiatrist and registrar I saw, knew that I didn’t like it as an option - I wanted to use a mood stabilizer - but after discussion I said I would give it a try. If it didn’t work for me, we’d look at something else.
It was great for about 2 weeks, mainly for sleeping. But then I got incredibly drowsy and horribly agitated at the same time. It also increased by suicidal and self harm thoughts. I also found that it could impact on the thyroid - I talked to my GP and we decided it would be a good idea to stop it and to talk to the registrar. My thyroid treatment has been enough hassle & I’d had my thyroid meds adjusted about 3 times last year - if it was stable, I didn’t want that blown.
After three months of writing to the registrar and my mental health service and the admin receptionist and getting no replies, I started to cut down the dose, very slowly myself. I felt as ill as when my thyroid went wrong (and the GP tested to make sure it wasn’t that) and had been falling asleep at 3pm everyday. I was utterly groggy - felt more depressed (a possible side effect but also understandable due to not getting out and doing nice things).
Ridiculously, when I had enough energy to get to my mental health service in the day, I was told that the registrar had left months ago and due to service cuts, I couldn’t see the consultant who was his replacement. The consultant has to cover the whole of the Cambridge and Peterborough Trust counties for Complex Cases in one day a week. My requests to see someone who specializes in medication for mental health and the endocrine system was met with the compromise of ‘your GP can chat to the consultant on the phone’. I do not find this useful.
So now I’m down to half of a 50mg tablet of quetiapine everyday. A few weeks ago I stopped my hayfever tablet for the winter. I’ve been wiped out with constant catarrh, post nasal drip, sore throats and my asthma playing up. At bedtime. So my sleep has been stymied, which has left me struggling with migraine and cluster headaches everyday. I start coughing, sneezing and spitting about half an hour after my nightly meds are taken. I’ve been trying to sleep propped up, vicks, throat lozenges and sprays - the works. My sinuses are like pillows and my nose bleeding a bit everyday.
I wondered if I’d garnered another allergy - could be possible. But I went through my meds leaflets, cos the symptoms are after them, not just from going to bed. And guess what can be another side effect of quetiapine? Rhinitis and sinusitis (a list). Though by no means as terrifying as suicidal thoughts or my thyroid being affected, I’ve been really ill and it’s been tough. If the quetiapine had any good effects for me, I’d just take my anti-histamine again.
So I’m going to see if I start getting all the symptoms tonight if I don’t have the tablet. I have been cutting down with the full knowledge of my GP, I also haven’t changed any other of my medications. The anxiety from making the dose decrease has been quite horrid, but manageable with using daily cue controlled relaxation, mindfulness and the distress tolerance skills from DBT - the anxiety passes off again in a few days.
I can’t believe I was chatting with a consultant in November last year about him helping choose a mood stabilizer, then his post went and I was ‘downgraded’ to seeing a registrar because he’d ‘talked to me before’. Then getting an anti-psychotic, the current trendy med in the mental health service, which didn’t work for me. I’d accepted that could be a possibility - which is why I kept asking and waiting for a follow up appointment. I have made a formal complaint (not responded to yet at all) and told my MP. If I have no joy, it’ll be the Ombudsman next. But I’m waiting until after Xmas, as I really don’t need to lose any more life, sanity, peacefulness or health, dealing with that, rather than being able to get on with my life.
As I like to misquote Tara Brach, this is where the monkeys have dropped the balls and I just have to play it from here. This is how it is, I’m going to practice pushing away my story of ‘I’m angry at how I’ve been treated by the mental health service’. It’s true and valid, but it’s really just hurting me at the moment - I’ve taken all the effective action I can at the moment - I don’t want to let them sour my life any more than they have at the moment. I’m going to invest my time and energy into the people and things that I love.
The launch of the new magazine coincides with an increasing public awareness and desire to have more information available about Borderline Personality Disorder. The rapid growth of the HealingFromBPD.org blog site, managed by Debbie Corso and sponsored by the Optimum Performance Institute, confirms this trend.
clinical observations suggest that some individuals, particularly those
high in self-criticism, can ﬁnd self-compassion and receiving compassion difﬁcult and can
be fearful of it. This study therefore developed measures of fear of: compassion for others,
compassion from others, and compassion for self. We also explored the relationship of
these fears with established compassion for self and compassion for others measures,
self-criticism, attachment styles, and depression, anxiety, and stress.