Pure Exhaustion…

I’ve wanted to write about this for the past few weeks, but haven’t had the courage (or energy)…finally, I think I do…

For the past 3 or 4 months (maybe more) and at various times in my life, I have been what I would call “exhausted”!

My Psychiatrist messed with my meds (decreased Avanza) a little to see if that would help, but no change. He then believed it was because I wasn’t sleeping properly and started me on melatonin at night for a week and then this week I’m to take Mogadon every second night.

Finally though, I decided to see my GP to see what could be causing it, because I knew I wasn’t depressed and I was pretty sure it wasn’t all “in my head”.

My GP ordered a blood test to see if it could be anything physical causing my tiredness…he tested for all kinds of things including viruses and ross river fever – 5 viles of blood taken. I have also had a lot of pain in my back and some joints…I thought it was unrelated, but when I mentioned this he said it could be related – so he tested for Rheumatoid Factor also. Thankfully my mother was there when he asked is there any history of arthritis in the family, because I had no idea the illness my pop (Grandfather) had was arthritis! (he passed away before I was born)

He had a form of Arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) – so my GP did a test for the HLA-B27 Gene, which can be associated with AS. It came back Positive! I also had extremely high ESR & CRP – both are indicators for inflammation.

Now, on its own this doesn’t mean I have AS, but coupled with my symptoms it is quite possible. The GP started me on Celebrex – an anti inflammatory drug and so far it has helped a bit. I have to see a Rheumatologist for a full diagnosis, but I can’t get in to see her until April!

On top of the possible AS, I have a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) which can mimic symptoms of Glandular Fever! No wonder I’ve been so exhausted!!!

If you’d like to read more about Ankylosing Spondylitis, please visit www.spondylitis.org  OR www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

The possibility of this diagnosis has been very taxing on me. I actually started hearing voices for a few days, but thankfully with the help of meds (Zyprexa) and some stress-relief techniques from my psychologist, they have subsided. I’m trying to take one day at a time and just keep my stress to a minimum.

My psychologist agrees that stress led to the voices. She thinks that, like dissociation, the psychosis is almost an escape from reality for me in stressful situations. I’d never really thought of it that way before, but it makes sense to me…do any of you have similar experiences with stress and dissociation/hallucinations?

 

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Learning How To Live…

Tell the negative committee that meets in your head to sit down and shut up!

I have come a long way since my last stay in a Psychiatric Hospital in 2012. I was discharged in September, after a 7 month admission – still in a fragile state, but not suicidal like I had been. I went on a trip interstate to visit my sister less than a week after leaving hospital. I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not at the time and when I got home, I did go downhill a little bit. While I was away, I had to be OK for the sake of my sister and nephews.

Since I got home, it’s been like I have so little motivation and energy. Everything feels like such an effort and I’ve even self harmed a couple of times. I keep wondering why I still feel this way 3 months later. I don’t think I’m depressed…actually, I think things are going quite well there. I’m just so tired all of the time (I think this may be due to one of my medications, which my Psychiatrist and I are currently reducing).

There has been some progress in my therapy over the past 6 or so months.

I’ve actually started talking more to my psychologist…not just about the past, but about day to day things that are bothering me. We don’t seem to go off track as much as we used to, and I like that.

A major development in my therapy took place after I was given homework by my psychologist. I was to write a letter to my abusers, expressing my anger towards them. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do this, because I didn’t actually feel anger towards them,  but on 24th November 2012 I did it and I’m so pleased I did.

I found it really difficult to write at first, but after a while I was writing without thinking about it.  When I had stopped writing, I suddenly realised that all of this hatred and loathing I had written to the abusers, was exactly what I used to say to myself! The anger and loathing was (for the first time) directed at them and not me! It was a most elightening experience.

Although I’ve had some major breakthroughs in the past 6 months, I still find that my thoughts revert back to negativity and self-destruction, a lot of the time. I’m still not entirely sure why this is, but my psychologist says that because I’ve been unwell for so long my automatic head talk is still negative. Now to set about changing this. The suggestion from my psychologist is to create good, positive, healthy life experiences and hopefully this will change the negative head talk into something more positive. I’ve been trying to do this…it’s easier said than done.

Why is learning how to live so difficult?

 

 

 

 

 

The start of a New Year, The start of a Blog!

Happy New Year!!! Here’s to the start of a new blog!

My dog, Rosie, didn’t like the loud noise from the fireworks much – nor did the other dogs in the neighbourhood…I could have sworn I was at a dog pound, with all the barking!

I had a few (alcoholic) drinks tonight. I’m not a drinker usually, so I hope what I’m writing is legible! I mostly don’t drink because I am on so much medication and I find it just makes me sleepy most of the time.

I guess I should start by telling you a bit about myself…

I am 28 years old and I come from a very big and loving family – I think if any of them read this blog, they might encounter a few surprises! I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD & Schizoaffective Disorder and in therapy with the same psychologist since I was 16. I can tell you it’s been a long and rugged road I’ve traveled thus far with her! I also see a psychiatrist, who I’ve been seeing since about 2005/6.

2012 was one of my most difficult, yet most enlightening years. I spent 7 months as an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, which you may think would make this year a right-off, but it wasn’t! I learned SO much about where I came from and what brought me to this point. I learned that after every hurdle, there is soft grass to land on – my family and friends are that soft grass, as is the life I am building for myself. I learned that life is too precious and beautiful for me to feel negatively towards those who no longer exist in my present. I learned that “bad” events in life do not define who I am. I learned that a lot of my emotions are “misdirected” upon myself, instead of those who deserve it.

I’m going to share a little about my past below:

I was abused sexually from the age of about 5 to 9. Thankfully, it was not anyone in my family who perpetrated this abuse. I “repressed” the memories of the abuse until I was about 14. For a long time I couldn’t remember who my abusers were (I always knew there were two) and this really concerned me because I thought it may be someone in the family, but now – it’s crystal clear who they were and I really couldn’t give a toss about them.

Looking back, I showed some classic signs of a child who had been abused.

  • I played inappropriate games with dolls…right up until I was 14.
  • I was easily shamed.
  • Was overly sensitive at times – especially with my older brother (whose ex-friends were the perpetrators).
  • I dissociate/d a lot.
  • People pleaser – especially with authority figures.

If only life could be a bed of roses though, right? But sometimes it’s a bed of thorns. Life can be hard, but I’m just beginning to see it can be worthwhile too…

There’s so much I want to say, but it’s 3:30am…time for bed.