Mental illness meets the doctor

I had a GP appointment on Wednesday to review my blood tests. Basically they have come back with mild issues 3 times, but on the 4th time they are okay so nothing to worry about. In a twisted way I was kind of disappointed- not sure if others would understand this? I just felt like maybe if there was something physically wrong it would (a) be easier to talk about than the mental stuff and (b) might help spur me into action if I knew I was actually doing some damage- but all my ED heard was ‘you’re fine, no need to stop, not doing you any harm”

Anyway he then asked me how I was and that was all it took for the tears to start. I tried to explain how desperate I was feeling and how I wanted to disappear – how I had no control over the crying or eating or purging or self-harming, couldn’t make decisions, wasn’t sleeping, was stressed, despairing etc. I told him I felt like I was out of options and that now I have tried to get help and I’m on medication it’s even worse when I feel like this as I can’t think of anyway I can help myself more.  I couldn’t say the words “I am suicidal” but I so desperately wanted him to ask. (He didn’t- and while he is a great doctor- I think he should have).

He asked me what I felt had brought on this dip. This was hard but he knows his stuff about engaging patients in building a narrative of their difficulties and I know it is meant to be beneficial. I told him that I think having recently gone back on the pill was probably the main factor along with a very stressful period with PhD and discontinuity with my nurse in terms of appointments. He agreed it could well be the pill and that I should hang on and let the hormones get of out of my system and we can reevaluate then.

He asked what I did to approach stressful PhD times when they happen. I told him that actually working rather than just panicking about the work helps, and I really have been doing this in between the tears. I told him being in a routine is crucial so I have been getting into the office whether I feel like it or not. I told him exercise helps so I’m trying to to get to run club and the gym. I told him I was journalling even though my entries are a not always positive (there has been lots of scrawling of self-hate talk to be honest).  I didn’t tell him that weighing myself daily, obsessing about food and purging also helps as he had put them into the camp of ‘negative behaviours’ already- when really they are a comfort. This was a good conversation as I have done work before on identifying what helps so it was good for me to think about, but I don’t think he really understood that there is a chasm between knowing what will help and actually having the capacity to do these things. It’s a key issue which I’m not sure if he doesn’t get or is trying to not let me dwell on.

 

I then cried some more, and a little more and he skillfully moved onto talking about a plan (he is good with solution-focused approaches!). He asked me if I had an appointment with my nurse soon and I said that I had emailed but had no response. I told him that every time I have to ask for an appointment takes me days to work up to as ED is screaming at me for being too fat and un-disciplined and that I was wasting everyone’s time.  He asked if felt my nurse was helping and I said that I wasn’t sure- I felt so bad saying that but it’s true that sometimes I come out feeling worse, and it’s not because she’s hit a nerve it’s because there’s no continuity sometimes I feel I’m not getting anywhere. He suggested he could refer me to a specialist service to which I vehemently objected- they would refuse me as I don’t meet their weight criteria and I don’t need that written down on paper for me. He also said that in a few weeks a new nurse is starting and maybe I could see her. I would feel bad to leave my other nurse but this could be a good option.

For now though he said to just ride it out, see if coming off the pill helps, and made an appointment for me to see him next week, which was really good of him, as all I need to focus on now is a week.

I’m definitely feeling better the last two days, food stuff is still out of control but I only burst into tears once yesterday so I’ll take that!

Sorry again for the long post. Thanks for the support and hope you are all okay.

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7 thoughts on “Mental illness meets the doctor

  1. Ground hog day isn’t it when things start to unravel. Hang in there, I know you are a tenacious lady who will negotiate this path and the current obstacles. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was really good of him to set an appointment with you while you wait to see the nurse and wait out the hormone changes. He sounds like a really good doctor. I’m proud of you for opening up to him. I know sometimes it’s hard for me to speak up about disordered behaviors when I feel that they aren’t impacting my health. “I’m not sick enough to be sick”. That’s just our heads playing a dangerous game. Kudos for recognizing that and trying to put a stop to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow I admire the courage. I just found your blog today and have read through a few of your posts. Strong stuff, I’ll be hanging around here for some time I think. Anyway thank you for posting this stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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