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I need to get well and stay well!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've experienced mental health issues for the past 10 years + and I've just moved out of London, partly in the hope that I'll get better access to services, but also because I'm a part time-ish carer for my mother who has ME, and she needs somewhere quiet and stable to get better in. I'm also in my final year of a degree, and I have virtually no confidence in my work or myself as a person right now. I've found myself feeling really down again, I think mainly because I'm totally overwhelmed. I've gone to my new GP, but obviously she can't do anything till she has my notes. I don't want to be reliant on medication again, it just doesn't agree with me and I have a lot of drug allergies it makes it difficult to prescribe for me (I have to be seen by a psychiatric pharmasist and is bloody difficult to get to see them, if there even is a specialist once available!)

I suppose my biggest concern right now is I want to get better, and I know I can, but how can I stay this way? I was told I'd grow out of the PTSD, and I never did, and I just feel like my life is totally defined by these cycles. I feel like my teens were pretty much consumed by flashbacks, panic attacks and periods of depression, I'm so desperate for the same to not happen to my twenties as well.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's no immediate fix, but trying to get some stability into your life will go a long way towards helping to keep you well.

    Routine, a balance between work, other activities, and chill out time. Also, getting you mum to look after herself more, and getting her to use outside services for support rather than just depending on you.

    Take it slowly with the new GP, and find out what's on in your new area, including the little things like where's nice to go out for a stroll in the sunshine, what sports/exercise activities are available etc.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm hoping I can get into contact with my local carers association, and see if I can get some support for them. I find the hardest part is juggling work and supporting my mum and then me time. I hardly have time to sit down before nine o'clock most nights. I think the hardest part right now, is that my mum hasn't been able to get any benefits for over 6 months, and I've been having to support her on my student loan and my savings. we've gone to the CAB and all sorts but no one seems to want or be able to help...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You sound like a wonderful, supportive daughter Miss Riot. You have done lots of things to help your situation and you also have a positive state of mind, knowing that you can and will get better. This is great to hear, well done. As Scary Monster has said, settle into a routine and find out what support is in your community. The local Carers Assocaition, or equivilant should hopefully be able to support and advise with caring for your Mum, but you may also want to look at ongoing support in coping with your PTSD and looking at ways to break out of the cycle you feel you are in. Our local advice finder might be able to help you? And also your GP.

    It seems strange that your Mum isn't recieving benefits of some description. Our advice would be to visit the CAB, but sound's like you've tried that... perhaps go again and try to speak to someone different, also workers at the local Carers support group should be able to help you. You can also try posting in our 'home, law & money' forum about it to see what people there advise?

    Good luck & keep posting to let us know how you are getting on. Take care :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you and your mum had assessments from social services? They may help (or get carers in) with the care side of things for your mum.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It would also be worth starting from scratch in your new area with your mum trying to get her benefits sorted.

    Note I said your mum trying to get her benefits sorted.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So after over 6 months my mum will now get back paid the £50 a week that she was entitled to before her assessment. Tomorrow she has the assessment, and I'm just hoping that they'll understand the nature of ME and how it works.

    On the otherhand, my uni mentor is worried about me, because I'm finding it really hard to shut off, not sleeping well (having to take quite life - like a herbal nightol) and I'm listening to my hypnotherapy tapes which normaly help me sleep like a log and having a chamomile tea before bed, and i'll get to sleep, but I'll wake up 4 times in the night remembering things I need to do. I've started avoiding mirrors again, which I know is alway a bad sign, and I'm just feeling generally a bit melancholic. She wants me to think about trying something like Venlafaxine or something similar. I know they're not SSRIs but I'd really rather not. Theres got to be another way...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know it's really really simplistic, but have you tried keeping a list of all the things you need to do?

    It can sometimes really help with the waking up in the night, or at least getting back to sleep afterwards as you brain doesn't then go into overdrive thinking that it needs to make sure it remembers something, can relax again because it's safe on the list.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    She wants me to think about trying something like Venlafaxine or something similar.

    From personal experience, i would try ANY OTHER anti depressant rather than this one first, the withdrawal effects (for me) were just not worth it, it's taken me the best part of a year to reduce from 75mg to 5mg :yuck:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know it's really really simplistic, but have you tried keeping a list of all the things you need to do?

    It can sometimes really help with the waking up in the night, or at least getting back to sleep afterwards as you brain doesn't then go into overdrive thinking that it needs to make sure it remembers something, can relax again because it's safe on the list.
    yeah I have a to-do type app on my phone, but I'll wake up and remember I haven't done something I have on the list. I always have pen and paper by my bed, but I can never seem to use it when I wake up at night.

    I've already tried citalopram and setraline, and i've been told fluroxitine isn't a good idea for me.

    I'm going to start with a new therapist tomorrow, unfortunatly one I have to pay for (at least until I can get referred by my GP, then I can access the patient fund).

    I talked to my other half about all of this last night, and he was quite easy going about all of it. I'm not sure how I feel about that, I was kind of expecting him to leap to my defence and tell me that I seem perfectly fine. But evidently I don't so...maybe I should...

    Just the total expence! So expencive to get meds every week again... I just hope I can remember to get a pre-payment cert again.

    I've looked into local support groups and not really found very much...

    Anything else people have tried thats helped? I'm doing exercise when I can, I eat really well. Yes I admitt, I have very little time for me, but thats the way the world goes...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Miss Riot,

    God luck with the new therapist tomorrow, keep posting and let us know how it goes? Shame that you are having to pay for it at the mo, but it sound's like you know what you have to do to claim that back once the GP referral goes through.

    Your partner sound's like he's being supportive and realistic. At least he seems to have noticed that things aren't amazing for you at the moment, it would perhaps be more worrying if he thought that everything was fine....

    Seems like you want to give the new meds suggested a try? If you are worried about the side-effects or have any other concerns, maybe run these by the therapist tomorrow?

    Exercise is a great release and way of coping with emotions. Have you thought about taking up another kind of hobby you can do at home, at your lesuire, that isn't too time consuming or expensive? Something creative perhaps? Writing, reading, dawing, knitting, model making.... I was in Hobby Craft today and there was LOADS of craft ideas - do you have one near you that you could visit for some inspiration?

    Take care, :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Harry23 wrote: »
    Exercise is a great release and way of coping with emotions. Have you thought about taking up another kind of hobby you can do at home, at your lesuire, that isn't too time consuming or expensive? Something creative perhaps? Writing, reading, dawing, knitting, model making.... I was in Hobby Craft today and there was LOADS of craft ideas - do you have one near you that you could visit for some inspiration?

    This is a good idea. I'm not particularly creative, suck at most forms of art, so I took up knitting and after a couple of months getting to grips with it I got completely addicted.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So I've been to the GP, who still won't do anything about me until he sees my notes, for which we've been waiting for a month. My mum has been to see the local MP who said he'll write so letters for her but thats all he can do at this stage. We went to the ESA medical, which was horrible because she got so very upset.

    I've gotten worse, I saw Suckerpunch at the weekend, which just felt like my worst nightmare played out on a screen. I stayed until the end because I was with my boyfriend and his mates, and didn't want to cause a scene, but he knew I wasn't feeling good, and ended up holding me most of the evening whilst I cried. I'm totally exhausted, battling with uni to get my degree done and finish with a 2:1, it feel like I can't be creative because its all crap, and I don't know what I need to do to get help. I'm living in an area where I have no friends of my own, I just starting to think I've made life difficult for myself again but I couldn't have stayed where I was before.

    How do you go meet people in a new area, if you don't want to hang about in pubs on your own, have no self confidence and are too old for youth groups, and have no time for volunteering?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Find other groups. Interest societies, book groups, churches, non church groups that meet at churches, gyms, sports clubs........

    Realistically for you to get well and stay well you need to stop looking after your mum and taking on her mess of a life. You're not in a fit state at the moment to sort your own life out and keep that going well, that means you're definitely not in a state to sort someone elses out.

    It's harsh, and it's blunt, but long term the best thing you can do for your mum is sort yourself out.

    Have you tried chasing your notes from your previous GP? It might be worth finding out if you can request a copy, and then give those to the new GP if it speeds the process up.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've tried chasing them up so many times but to no avail! The notes have already left my old surgery and thus in the mystical other place.

    I know that I need to do less for my mum, but I can't just leave her to get on with everything, and we can't get any help until she can get some benefits, which is still being processed it seems.

    I've been looking for other groups, I can't seem to find much, seeing as sports are not my idea of fun and church is a total no-no. I'll keep looking though...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I've been looking for other groups, I can't seem to find much, seeing as sports are not my idea of fun and church is a total no-no. I'll keep looking though...

    What about a community choir? Or a local Mind service?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There doesn't seem to be a free community choir thats not church based, only singing workshops which you have to pay to go, and the local mind is nearly 20 miles away...which isn't very local at all. It seems like the whole of my county is without a Mind service. :(

    Mum has now said she wants to go and talk to social services about getting some help, but I have a feeling they will turn around and tell her that she needs to sell the house, which she can't sell, or she isn't in enough need.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If she wants to go, she should go.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I've encouraged her, I'm just worried about getting yet another rejection and what that will do to her...and me!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have realistic expectations - that way any thing she does get will be a bonus rather than being disappointed.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, so the Doctor has got me taking a homeopathic anti-depressant, and has referred me on to the local community mental health nurse, which is more than a start, but still things aren't all that much better. It might take a while for this stuff to kick in, but we really need some support from the social and I've almost run out of my savings and student loan, so we could soon be totally pennyless which is really concerning. The DWP are still saying they won't pay her any money even though she isn't well enough to work and she can't sell her house. Somethings got to give, I just hope its not me, or my relationship, which is under a huge amount of strain right now because of this.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Has she appealed the DWP's decision?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    they are in the process of reconsidering the claim, but still more than 6 months on no money, and the local MP has even written letters to the DWP
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