Venting: “There is help out there, don’t worry.”

Disclaimer: Pardon the somewhat graphic nature of this post, also I am writing this stream of consciousness style (as I do with all my venting posts), so no judgement please. Trigger warning for sure.

***** IMPORTANT: If you are just now starting to look for help, I highly recommend that you read this carefully, if you do at all. I am a bitter old woman when it comes to the mental health field because of my experience with it. There IS help, you just have to look in the right places and be patient. For me, this makes me angry considering my current situation. It saved my life when I heard it first, eight years ago. So please, get help, just know that it takes incredible patience and hope. It will be ok; it just takes time. And they don’t always tell you that when they say “things will get better.”

 

Ok, now for the angry venting you have all been waiting for:

“There is help out there, don’t worry.” This is a statement that I have heard over and over again and it pisses me off to no end. As someone who has struggled so much for so long, I don’t believe this anymore. Sure, there is help for some, but there isn’t help for all. The mental health field in general does not take anyone seriously who does not have a gun to their head.

Psychiatry

Psychiatry drives me crazy, which is ironic. It takes months to get into a psychiatrist and then another month at least to see if the medication is going to work. If it doesn’t work, it takes another month to try the next one that likely won’t work either. Something like fifty-percent of people do not respond to antidepressants at all, so it’s trial and error and trial and error, over and over and over again, until a patient finally gives up. What pisses me off the most is that it takes so long to get into a psychiatrist. As someone who needs a high level of psychiatric care, being told I won’t be able to see a psychiatrist for three months is grounds to cause a freak out that lands me in the ED or inpatient – or worse.

Therapy

As far as therapy goes, yes, it is wonderful for some. Especially wonderful in conjunction with medication that works. Many people can get through a bout of depression with therapy alone. Whether it be DBT or CBT, it can change lives. However, paying for therapy is impossible for many struggling people. It is difficult to find a therapist in network and if they aren’t in network, that’s probably $100+ a week. Even if the therapist is in network, a $30 copay a week is not feasible for all. Especially for those who can’t work because of their mental illness or addiction. And that is only if you are going to therapy once a week. I am so blessed to have top tier insurance through my parents, without it I don’t think I would be here today. However, I am now looking at three therapy appointments a week and until I get to my out-of-pocket maximum, which thanks to inpatient I am getting very close, this is still a burden to pay for. It also takes time to find a therapist that works for you. It is a lot like trying to find a compatible loved one – it takes time and money. In conclusion, therapy does not help everyone.

ED

The emergency department probably angers me the most. So either you try to kill yourself, someone intervenes because it either didn’t work or they catch you in the act, or you voluntarily walk yourself in (as I have twice). Prior to the previous inpatient treatment, I was unaware that you could just check yourself in to inpatient programs directly. However, I can only imagine that you are much more likely to be accepted if you are admitted through the ER. That was the case with getting into IOP. Prior to going to the ED, I was told it would be three months before I could start IOP, but after going to the ED, I was in the next day.

Additionally, the ED is TERRIFYING. If you can avoid it, I highly recommend admitting yourself directly to an inpatient facility. The first time I went to the ER, I was traumatized by what I saw. They offered no help and they simply sent me home because they had no beds for me. The second time I went in, they were much more accommodating. This probably was because I was about to kill myself and I was committed involuntarily, so they actually took me seriously. I get so pissed off because I feel like you aren’t taken seriously if you haven’t attempted suicide.

 

In conclusion, I apologize for the post obviously being written from a place of deep anger. I am at a point where I feel like I have gotten all the help I can get and I still feel incredibly depressed. I have tried almost all the medication I can and I don’t know what other options there are for me, except for ECT. Also, this is clearly a chronic, genetic mental illness that will be recurrent throughout my lifetime. I was told by a psychiatrist (don’t get me started about how angry this makes me) that each subsequent episode gets worse and worse because the neural pathways are strengthened in your brain each time. As a neuroscience major, this makes perfect sense to me, but as a human being, why the hell would she tell me this?!? I have yet to confirm that statement, although I doubt its validity, but it still is burned into my brain as a possibility. I have exhausted my options and I don’t know what’s next. This is a lifelong battle that I know I can’t win, so what is the point of continuing to try?

Also, if you are one of the few reading this, please let me know what kind of posts you want to see. I would love to hear your suggestions as well. I have a ton of ideas and I don’t know what I want to post next!

A Letter to My Ex

I started this out originally with “I don’t hate you,” but upon further reflection, I absolutely do hate you. I have tried so hard to be indifferent, but I can’t sit back and act like you don’t deserve to be hated. I spent 4 years of my life on you and you destroyed me. Now I know it isn’t fair to put all the blame on you, I know my explosive emotional lability did not help anything. For that I take responsibility, but I don’t take responsibility for anything else.

When you smacked me, hunted me down on campus, and I had to hide in a random bathroom from you and your anger just because your best friend told me he was going to rape me, I went back to you. When you repeatedly told me you were embarrassed by me because I was sexually assaulted and you did not want to go out in public with me in high school or college for that reason, I stayed with you. When you hit me for inviting you over and my family was there, I stayed. But when you told me that the college sexual assault was my fault, I couldn’t stay anymore. The problem was (and still is) that I wanted to stay. Despite everything you had done to me, all the emotional hurt and damage, I wanted to be with you forever. It’s taken me almost a year of not seeing you to realize how absurd that is. Had you not gotten a girl friend, had you not been separated from me by miles and miles, this cycle would have continued. And that’s what bothers me the most. But, I finally have the rose colored glasses off.

For four years, I listened to your digust of me and I believed it. Because I was so depressed in high school, I drank quite a bit and you blamed me for all the guys who took advantage of me knowing that prior to having met me. You told me you couldn’t sleep at night knowing I was known as easy and as a whore. You told me it was eating you to your soul. If we hung out and you didn’t make me cry, I would think something was wrong. Even though you were my first real boyfriend, I should have known all this was wrong. I should have known when you told me you wouldn’t go to prom with me or take you to yours. I should have known when you did take me, but didn’t once dance with me or acknowledge me. I should have known when you cheated on me because it, and I quote, made you “feel better about all the guys I had been with,” so it was “good for the relationship.”

What made me stay was the connection we had. I thought you knew me to my soul. We explored every dark, painful corner and we talked about it, worked through it. After being depressed for so long, you simultaneously brought me out of it and pushed me back into it. I cannot thank you enough for the part of our connection that pulled me out of depression. I got to know myself through you. But now I look at you as just a sounding board, nothing more. You were a forum where I could learn about myself and what it meant to be depressed in a world that didn’t quite accept that yet. I needed someone, anyone to listen to me and go on that journey with me, as I didn’t have the strength to go alone.

However, I cannot keep acting like that connection made everything else worth it– it was not. The emotional problems I have now because of you and because I stayed are not worth it. I keep trying to justify your behavior and I have to stop trying. My self esteem is non-existent, my social anxiety is in part due to you, maybe even part of the exacerbation of my BPD. My college experience, in part, was horrible because of you. I can’t leave my apartment or walk on campus without constantly scanning the area for you. The instant I see you I start to have a panic attack and I turn running in tears. I have nightmares worse than any childhood fear of monsters; I fear you and everything you are. You are my monster.

The part of you that constantly put me down and judged me is part of me now. It echoes painfully in my skull. The echoes keep me from loving someone else, from letting myself be vulnerable. They keep me from being who I am and who I want to be.

But I stayed for four long years, and that’s what keeps me up at night.

5-25-17

Dear Diary,

Well I have tried to write a million different posts, but it’s bad. I’m so beyond depressed and I can’t do anything. I started work last week and I think that is the only thing keeping me sane, even though I hate it so much. It keeps me busy during the day, but then I cry all night. I self-harmed again (not as bad as it was a couple weeks ago), and I started purging and restricting again. I can’t restrict so much when I’m at my parents house for the summer for an internship, so that causes more purging. But I really don’t care anymore. I am writing this in the middle of staring at the ceiling catatonically, while one or two tears fall down the side of my face. I always say being moderately depressed is the worst because you have to function while hurting, but this sucks a lot too. This feels a lot like the worst episode I have ever had and I’m scared. I don’t know what to do or how to do it because it’s really clear now that this is going to keep happening over and over again. I have “turned on autopilot” which helps me to get through the day, but it only makes things worse, I know. I just can’t deal with my reality and I don’t have another choice. This is the absolute worst. I need help again already and I don’t have the courage or strength to get it.