What is the difference between mental health and Autism?

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo from my 2016 journal

It is thought to be believed, that mental illness is most common for people on the Autism Spectrum than in the general population, and is more often, overlooked.

My life has been filled with so many confusing questions, some answered, but the majority of the time, the answer doesn’t seem to fit when it comes to expressing or explaining me.  I remember my response when it was first ever verbally said, that I may be autistic, two and a half years ago.  That is the first time I had ever heard it, in that context directed towards myself, I was 28 years old.  Bearing in mind, I had already been thought to have, postnatal, PTSD, depression, then bipolar, and medicated for these.

I was also in the system since 12, many a professional trying to help to the point I had to go into care despite my parent’s best efforts.  All these people from all walks of life and job title, so many a professional with many an opinion, technique or medication. In my opinion they were and still are, relevant pieces in the puzzle that is me, the process of untangling, but still not allowing enough to balance my scales.  Linkable to the fact that ASD is something entirely separate but interchangeable from mental health, and I seem to fit to well in both, currently diagnosed ADHD, which is biologically more a male orientated diagnosis, were as mood disorders are more commonly diagnosed in women. (I am a minority it appears, still treated like the majority, no wonder damage control varies.

This has all happened in the time frame of 2016-2017-2018, but the reality is, it has been more than half my life, and all my life.  Sometimes I find it so ironic how people worry abound legalising cannabis.  There was a story I signed a petition for with regards to a young boys meds for his fits, containing a key ingredient found in a marijuana plant.  Unbelievable what that family and boy had to go through due to debates against facts and fiction, easy to go buy a pint or vodka though, turning many into nutters by choice.

Well believe me you, from personal experience, prescriptions, and tested medications, used for all sorts, can be, and has been for me personally, the most aiding and disabling trips I’ve ever had, in my entire life, unless educated or experienced, opinions influence, make sure it’s for the right reasons.  Everything has a side-effect, what works for one, may not for the other, the key is knowing your own internal balances to ensure your scales aren’t tipping. (equilibrium/balance).

Something I learnt back in 2016 when I was put on a mood stabiliser is, epileptic medications are used to treat some with bipolar.  One actually helped what I once described as the black cloud from suffocating me, but I was far to medicated to give a clear outlook.  Dramatic word choices I use at times I know, but verbally, words can fail me majorly and that was the only way, I could describe it.  Meds seem to work really different for me in many a way, also I’m extremely aware of my bodies internal chemical balance depending how inertly focused I am. (just don’t know the words sometimes or how to explain)

Further down the road of discovery, and also an opinion of a gentleman on our very first meeting, was once nicknamed my action man, and a woman I called the delicate flower (the hand over process when one nurse leaves for good), ADHD was my action man crisis nurses opinion, which I’m currently diagnosed, and finally, it appears for me and those I hold dear, we may finally be on the right path to answers more suitable or helpful, the unanswerable in some ways, Autism.  Autism I now believe given my understandings, is separate from my current diagnosis of ADHD (mental health)

I will never forget mine or those that are closest to me, first response or opinions to the thought of me being Autistic….. no chance, and that is putting it mildly, obviously influencing my way of thinking, and those around and relevant, to some regard.  The reason I thought this was because of the narrow-minded view and education I had on the subject, also what others, my entire life’s views have been, even professional.  I have no obvious physical deformities (there are and were some), but i am beginning to broaden my understanding through experience, just being me, and educating myself, I have learnt so much more.

Every time things go skewed, it’s usually due to interactions or input from people, other human beings. Maybe relationships is a more accurate word for this setting, and not just intimately, regardless of what shape and form, relationships seem to be the answer or word, making the most sense.  Looked at more acutely, people, linkable and compatible with emotions. Time and time again, I tell people my need, not my want, but my need for time to gather ones thoughts uninterrupted or influenced, unless chosen, never seems a possibility, just a pipe dream.   No doubt everyone can relate to some degree and beg for space, but it is fundamental to keep my mind healthy and functionable at points, or the aftershocks are defragmenting.

This has led me to the question, what does mental health look like in someone with Autism, given current knowledge.

My thought process is as such, if I can figure out what areas of my mental health is skewed and fix or enable them to be less problematic, maybe just maybe I can figure out what autistic traits are interfering and impacting on my life, in a negative way because there are many a positive.  My theory is, once this is figured out I can learn the abilities to counteract, making it easier to cope and get my life finally on the right track, where I may be currently disabled.

I feel so trapped and it is becoming more and more suffocating internally, eventually manifesting and spilling outwardly.  Always a similar pattern with similar outcomes, just slightly shifting and changing whilst I continue losing and winning battle after battle, will I ever win the war?? Or were the odds never in my favour?  No doubt more unanswerable questions with many a different view so I will move on from this way of thinking as the odds are in my favour, when I make them.

I wrote an article about self-hatred, anxiety and depression a time ago, now my research has taken me deeper into the questions asked or relevant to that first Article.  Roughly 40% of individuals who are autistic will suffer one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with the general populations statistical figures of 15%.  This can then influence and create sadness and depression.   Vulnerability and stress seem to be the key words popping up time and time again when finding the words to describe how I feel.

I have always given the impression I rebel against the label, or so I have been led to believe, which is not entirely true. I just want more of an accurate or closer fitting one, given as wide a scope of the situation as possible for all parties involved or relevant to this exchange of information, so I can get access to the help already available out there, but unreachable to myself and others, who could really do with it. This has led me down a very long complicated path, which at this present moment, seems to be more focused and orientated around Autism.

Leaving no other choice but to personally search for answers to questions such as where on the spectrum do I fit? What do the 4 categories results of the RAADS actually mean or tell ones-self and others? When do I start following the cookie trails in my medical records, or should I even do that? I can tell statistically and through research that this genre of writing seems to be needed, therefore I will continue to write what I discover on this journey, for all those interested, as I’m tired of hitting a brick wall due to time restraints, debates, negligence, my disabilities or disorders and my gender.

My way of processing data seems to be, naturally categorise everything, for deeper analysis and understanding. Knowing what is relevant and irrelevant is a complicated process all humanity relates to and stumbles upon daily.  They deal and react given their own unique coping mechanisms and abilities, accessible and relevant to the situation.  I appear to put labels/categories on everything to help me remember and to put relevance, where there was possibly none, depending on where they fit in my head given that days abilities.

“There are definitely things I will never be able to do, but, I can learn new abilities to contradict the disabilities.  I try to achieve this by creating better order, where I once may have been disorderly, to the best of my capabilities”

Every time questionnaires are pulled out I swear I internally implode and metaphorically poop my pants, depending on the setting, context, understanding on what I am actually being questioned for or, if I can even answer the question by paying enough attention where relevant, it has my hackles, guards, and walls shooting as high as possible.

Aggressive I’m told, but a more fitting word may be protection with enough cause for it to be my primary reaction. I’ve been on the receiving end for trio of decades repairing the damage, it is not for the faint hearted hence why I rely on my primal instincts to guide me, they have kept me alive since a young age, where people intentionally and unintentionally have failed.

Please remember it is my health in question here not yours, I am not just a label, category, or statistic, I am an individual pointing her voice out there in the only way I know how. All I ask is to please tread more carefully and have the support necessary for dealing with the landmines and implications you happened to stumble upon in my mind, without a second thought to damage control. Trust is a two-way thing, and it’s getting harder and harder to trust those, who continuously say one thing, but do a complete other, leaving disappointment and a lack of hope.

I was reading through the words I had to pay for, written by my clinical psychiatrist and she had asked me to write a time line, life story, keep a journal and we were supposed to do the RAADS but I had never understood that or had the time to recall the words.  I have created a free way for my clinical psychiatrist and any other professional aiding in dealing with my care, can have access to my words, understandings and insights, hopefully limiting lack of communication and confusion, resulting hopefully in effective results from the limited time slots available, for helping an individual..

Now however, I have completed one to the best of my ability available on another post which is better than nothing I suppose.  I apologise for the time delay, I always seem to be reflecting on what I miss, but I do get there in the end.

The overall score for yours truly, a 30 year old whose gender is female, in a long-term intimate relationship alongside being a mother to, a preschool boy and a tween girl, who given my knowledge and understanding meet autistic thresholds for Autism but back to their mothers score on the RAADS, of 171.  I will retake soon and see what the results are as I believe I have more understanding into the questions therefore the patterns will have changed, my compass shifted.

When I understand more of the words within the question, its relevance and what the results tell, or give insight into, for the clinician or those relevant, yourself included, I’ll post an article, but I stumbled upon this piece of writing below today.  I remember how lost I felt when I lost all ways to communicate, when my mind was that tangled and crammed full, it was reflected in every angle of communication, but most devastatingly so in the words I wrote, refusing to allow them a reality I went into a complete malfunction of sorts.

February 2018 (my skill returns to give comfort to oneself)

How to start!!! The ultimate question that has left so many pieces of paper blank, possibly writers block implemented in my brain for the past few years.  I miss it, my mum says its something I’ve always done is write it down.  When thinking back she is right, it is when I’m not getting what I’m wanting to say across verbally, I write.  I have not lost the skill, just the ability to use it in the short-term, even what I write is so below my normal skill set but I don’t care I want it back, therapeutic arguably and the more I do it, the more it improves, the better I can communicate as proven back in February 2018 with my GP, a  man I have struggled with emotionally over the years, butted heads with, but formed a genuine bond in which together, we can now laugh at the history in past memories over the years. 

I will never forget our first meeting end December 2012/January 2013. I had just moved to the land of the lost, after seeking refuge.  We had our appointment and his eyes unsettled me to the core near the end as they noticed things my poker face couldn’t hide, asked questions that no other doctor has, in the context he done it, maybe compassion is the word I’m looking for.  I clammed up so tight as his brain and eyes were far to observant and sharp, unsettling me and leaving me feeling vulnerably exposed.

I remember the phone conversation with my mum after where I described him as one of these hillbilly doctors, probably living in some cabin in the woods (not stereotyping something from the movies at all here!!) I’d just moved from the city to the country, I was used to the conveyor belt treatment).  His eyes unnerved me because they appeared to look as if they could see through my armour, past the chameleon that is me, as if he could look into my very soul, I left with my tail dangling between my legs.

He wanted to help, always has and regardless of the struggles, he always will if he is able, and that was why I cried out for help to him, as I was failing with everyone else.   I knew he would listen and try everything he could to help, I just had to communicate it right so that he could.  I feel honoured and privileged to of had him as my doctor, a pillar to the community and that’s not just my words, most sought-after doctor here, a credit to his profession and believe you me I’ve only met a handful like him over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment without his support, understanding and patience when my behaviour is less easily explained.

I have a plan, a focus, fixing my inner foundations and structure…. That’s if I don’t flat line on appearance and become trapped in an inner hell, looking for anything to clutch so I can come out the other side.  After my appointment back in February 2018 where I handed over words so raw and open to me, overwhelmed was an understatement, silent tears flowed, triggered by anything happened for hours, got stuck in my past, these words are found in the post defining a rebel is someone who does not fit the ‘norm’.  

Being around me can damage your own mental health when I am like this and verbally communicating, dissecting as my mind raced all because I managed to get the words down, someone took the time to read and I knew I had got across what I wanted to say.  At the time his answers gave so much relief and hope it was intense.  I wanted to hide, thought of hospital, hiding in my room in a pain no one should have to witness or be around.

Through time I became more high, metaphorically running around looking, listening reflecting on ways I could fight the dark fog threatening to suffocate me. I then became higher emotional instead of low, flat and deflated if that’s the right word, my mum understands my language and even though verbally to anyone else, they wouldn’t have understood, just left the conversation exhausted and confused, my mum managed and helped to change my perspective slightly. 

Best I can explain but to the next point, triggered from the change in perspective, ignorance can be bliss, but I no longer have that option, knowledge and understanding is what I’m lacking, so fix it.  I read mass amounts always have, but have stuck to more fantasy and supernatural, time to come out of fantasy and into reality no matter how badly I want to avoid it.  

What I’ve found on mental health has been exhausting, a point-less or more in some ways, so decided to start looking in to the one I refused to believe many a moon ago, ASD but resources are limited and time consuming.  I have found a book written so brilliantly, I have decided to read the whole thing in one setting.  Would have been done February 2018, would have been an all nightery as the first 50 pages had me so intrigued but I had promised to switch off, if there is such a thing, to try switch of. 

To date I have still not managed that book and to many tasks to list as far too much has clouded my focus, knocked it off or changed it entirely for that moment in time (mostly out of my control).  Unfortunately that bit of space with no influence has not been possible and I’ve exhausted the resource that is me yet again. When it does become a reality and space is not just a fantasy, I image I  will have already found most my answers and more, eventually they will become reflective, time frames are just to long though, that is something requiring immediate attention. 

My compass is forever shifting as I pass by, no matter how tiny or huge, always shifting to point me in the direction I need, want, or must be at that present time.

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

Trip down memory lane March – July 2016 – 08/07/2018

“Every action good or bad, has a repercussion that impacts something or someone, a chain reaction negative or positive.”

How does one begin telling their story, ultimate question that has been continuously on a never-ending loop in my head, forcing me to a decision? My story is a complex headache…. Not my words, the words of one professional opinion some years ago. I started writing my version of my bible when I was 28 years old, so I think I should start by sharing one of the first full consistent pieces of writing I was able to do, when I lost the ability to communicate verbally and written.  This was one of the most scariest moments in my life and my families to date, followed by a more recent one 2 years later.  I have also included a piece of writing after an appointment with a clinical psychiatrist,

My words are brutally  honest at times as things only go wrong when I mince them.  They are just my perspectives and insights into a world, at that moment. A world that becomes more confusing and complicated every day, what’s acceptable today may not be tomorrow, and what once was acceptable and learnt may now, not be. I struggle every day, fighting like everyone else to breathe, my journey just has more obstacles shone on in a different light, reflected back to you in the words I only know. Some people can do this naturally, a skill I admire and wish I could hurry and learn.

Sometimes my efforts feel pointless, then those I’m attached remind me I’m a survivor, just like you. Take one of my favourites I learnt through a course I studied, taken from morgens metaphors (not had the privilege delving into his story yet), the be like a living organism metaphor, which in essence means constantly evolving to the change around you. Not just relevant to business but everyday life for the entire human race in a society encouraging difference, diversity and dynamics you need to be open and susceptible to change

Back in Spring 2016 a lot of events contributed to one of the most traumatic episodes of my life to date, a major contributor to the already stacking up PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) traits, until I began learning a lot about many varied things I once was oblivious to. The difficulty in learning how to manipulate myself to handle the changes that seem to occur internally, an on-going journey of discoveries, is a detrimentally challenging one, at times.

Whatever happened in 2016 was an extreme vortex of emotions, a meltdown of all meltdowns where all levels of communication were unattainable, so I gave up even trying at points welcoming the black hole because it was easier than my reality. Whenever I did try and communicate it was never precipitated or received in the way it was intended, becoming pointless, when I did communicate everything was magnified worse in extreme ways. The loss in control was triggered by events well and truly out of one’s control, there is truth in the saying you can’t run from your past.

After an intensely surreal experience with a clinical psychiatrist, I was asked to keep a journal. I explained, in probably the worst verbal dialect, my sensory senses were through the roof, I had lost the ability to write and I truly had at the time, but because of this request I began writing and drawing again, if you can call it that. It was chaotic but understandable to me, titled ‘my bible’ to make it symbolically significant to me, started March 2016.

As I’m reflecting on these moments I’m going to write about them, as my bible was a go to whenever the thoughts in my head became too much and needed an out let, almost like a personal religion that brought comfort and hope. I was that far in the depths of my black hole, not just skating along the circumference, that too many times my body nearly gave up, mind, body and soul were not one. I think the clinical psychiatrist glanced at it when I took it in months late, her comments were along the lines of ‘good reflection, as tangled as my present’, and closed the book. That is the only time she set eyes on it, no one else appeared to be interested in the words written

I began writing in Spring 2016, quite symbolic, time of growth, new life, evolving with good old mother nature, a time of year the world becomes brighter and new life begins, another looped cycle of life. Personally, my favourite season is Autumn, but writing seems at its best and most reflective and useful in spring. Each diary entry reflection will have the date it was done and follow that pattern, so my blogs will be the dates I reflected on the writings. There’s a quote from a piece of writing that I once wrote that I want you to remember as you read the insights given into my life.

‘How a person interprets words depends on many factors to name but a few…. Their natural and unnatural environment, circumstances on which its heard, the emotional meaning, or message portrayed in projecting the word, may it be tone, style, word choices, body language, personal circumstances, past experiences, current knowledge…… The list can go on and on, but the point is words are pointless if they confuse, misguide, hurt, destroy……if you don’t understand, if you don’t give your full attention and truly listen to what’s been said, to imply and interpret the words heard in a way that is not meant……then how can you understand, how can anyone help…. Sum it up you REBEL or OBEY against a fight that will never be eliminated just changed from minority to majority is awareness vs Ignorance.’

What I hope to achieve is help, for all individuals needing it, and together we can gain better insight into individuality. By understanding and preventing stigmas, that these labels are in no way concrete they are a way to generalised through a lot of research, time, and experience. It is a way to place information into categories and sub categories that are easier and easier to understand and communicate to all levels of society.  This first week of July 2016 entries seem to be reflecting on the entries written so far, so I’m going to include them here in the order and date they were written.

My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries.  I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment. My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries.  I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment.

23/03/2016 An attempt at writing again

10:37am – 11:15am

Concentration is border lining on impossible now.  Quetiapine in one sense has helped but it’s like it’s blocking half my brain and is pulling me further and further into darkness.  I feel so low and just want to cry my heart out.  I’m losing hope, every day I must be conscious with my word choices and actions but right now my scales are so unbalanced, body, brain and mouth just won’t work together.  This is the first time in months I have been able to put pen to paper.  I have battled more than half my life with this ‘illness’ but my old coping mechanisms have no relevance in my life just now.  If I lose concentration for just 1 second, my train of thought just disappears and I’m unable to remember what was happening.  I have not felt this out of control since I was 11-12ish when I took my over dose, my mums eyes will always haunt me.  The difference this time is I am an adult and I have managed to raise 2 amazing children and I will never commit suicide.  I am not that selfish or cowardly (words are harsh but necessary at the time) as I once was in my deluded narrow outlook on life or flip that when I gave up on humanity.  I try my 100% best everyday just to co-exist and I’m sick and tired of it.  Mental health has changed so much but not nearly enough.  I have never been an open book, learnt that at a young age with a punch in the face, or simply allowing others their own perception whilst with-holding mine (was easier that way).  So, since the age of 8 I have created masks for every dimension of this ‘illness’ and blocked my traumas.  But there are so many triggers now.  Nobodies wiped my arse for me since I was 12, I was viciously bullied or misunderstood, creating problem after problem not understanding the consequences of my actions. My behaviour was so out of control, I’d come home it was like being interrogated.  Nobody has ever been able to understand so I started running away and then my parents were put between a rock and a hard place, and I ended up in the system and even they didn’t help just a whole new bunch of traumatic events.  I spent most of my time living on the streets, up or under trees, cornfields etc. Help was never available in any way that was of use, and I just became so numb and that is exactly how I am starting to feel again.  All I do is survive I want to start living again.  I’m naturally a reflective learner but I can feel myself putting my walls up.  All the wrong meds this last year has put all my scars + pain + trauma out in the open this stops now

PLAN

Take my mood stabiliser despite my fears

Try to stay in my present and take one day at a time

Accept the fact now I’m not taking very good care of myself

12/04/2016 Personality and ‘my bible’ explained

I’m going to start with one-word Personality which in turn creates a character. Is it the end or the start of a new thought process, beginning of a new sentence? Or the end of the previous? Well in this case the final full stop at the end of this sentence indicates a temporary break until I ponder over the words PERSONALITY

A personality is a person’s individuality and quirky character ,that defines the person’s identity therefore defining their personality. By altering the thought process, I have come to an understanding. I started with one-word personality which is a bold word which in favour should have an ending which for me, is ERASED

What I did today was get up, get dressed, went shopping and came home. After a meal, i wrote in this book with a new pen and some new paper, now let’s see if I can work out how we clean up my messy tangled Personality, with (A) start + (B) Tangle = (C) End / (A) past (b) present = (C) future

This was the structure to the writings placed inside my ‘bible’

  • My green section of my bible – Black and white (logical)
  • Pink section – Black/White/Grey (Summary)
  • The turquoise section – Black (Forma) (data) (Tasks)
  • Blue section – Multi coloured (tangle)

 

4/07/2016 Pink section reflection so far

Yet again I seem to be at a loss for words. I have started with this section because it is one of the easiest. In this section it is obvious my moods are reflected in my writing. There is a lot of spelling mistakes, Grammar, different writing and wrong words but oh my that was hard. I told my Crisis Nurse once…. Sorry lost my thought process. Reading through, oh wait I remember what I was thinking. I told my Crisis nurse I always have a blind spot, where I’m not aware and was quite surprised at the things I’d wrote, that I have put to the back of my mind. So much has gone on but the best thing I have ever done was forcing myself to write and get back something that is my safety blanket. I thought I was writing for the sake of it, couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of what Is written here are things that I was not capable of communicating for whatever reason and probably might never be. But to read it back has made me feel a sense of pride in myself and my family for being able to handle all that has happened. It was like therapy in a sense but was always so scared to read. This section is mild, the blue is the worst so easing myself into that one. I was in a really bad place and I’m lucky I’m alive yet again, but how many times can you cheat death, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. We’ve all came along way, my other half, Welfare and Housing officers, Crisis/CPN, Clinical psychiatrist, GP and friends have all helped to get me out of the dangerous, self-destructive place I was in. I will always be grateful and thankful for all their help and I’m glad I get to read and reflect, give myself time to pause on everything that has happened

05/07/2016 Green Section reflections so far

From reading this section, I can see more detail has been put. At the start of each section there was a labelling system of writing, but as things spiralled more and more out of control, I just started writing anywhere. Some bits are quite unsettling to read because my head was in a scary place, but writing about them was a brilliant idea, as reading through these has given me a clearer perception. I find it strange that my writing even reflects what is going on inside my head. The weight on my shoulders doesn’t feel so heavy. I have had a hard time trying to get better, but my moods are still quite uncontrolled. I take 600mg quetiapine a day, divided in to 3x daily to slow my brain down, 3 of what I call pixy Trixie’s to try handle the side effects from the quetiapine and 100mg Lamotrigine a day plus 7.5mg zopiclone to help with sleep. I rely a lot on meds at the moment just to live in my circumstances, I know how reliant I am on them because if I miss a dose my head just goes off on one. Can also tell by the way I talk, and act becomes apparent, others notice this and make me aware of this, so I take them. Seen my last bit of writing saying I burned down my first house but it was unfinished, so I will elaborate, I set it on fire so that I didn’t have to live there no more, I was young lost and confused. I’m surprised by my writing and how much I have been able to write. I have started a separate book for writing about my past, and only my past inside this book, written in a general journal where my writing requires no restrictions. The last entry in this section is dated May 20th 2016, so haven’t been writing in this section

04/07/2016 Blue Section reflections part 1

Oh my, haven’t even begun reading what’s still attached in this book. I remember ripping out a few pages I’d wrote a little while ago. These words were my first attempt at writings at the start  It really is like the ramblings of a crazy person, my heads all over the bloody place. Confused mostly of communication, trying to get the right words to explain because I was saying all the wrong words and confusing everyone, these writings are from the 15th April, 2 weeks after hospital, in fact the first is dated 14th April but things had already started going unbalanced back in the year my son was born. When you read this and in my case, it just takes me back to an extremely embarrassing cringe stage which is upsetting and unsettling to read about. Just had to put this point down as was my thoughts on reading those loose bits of paper. The tangle in my brain where I have managed to draw and word on paper some of the stuff that was tangled but wow I really don’t know what else to say, just wow……

05/07/2016 Blue section reflections so far part 2

Just finished reading the last bits of the blue section. Clearly my moods have been more negative than positive. I need to remember where I was and where I am now. I have managed to reach a level of stability in some respects when it comes to my emotions. Reading this has put me in a place where even I must be proud of the fact, that together with my family, have managed to pull me out of one of the darkest and most lost places I have ever seen. Today is my appointment with my clinical psychiatrist and I’m never sure what  to expect, because you only get a small amount of time with her then it’s over, months before you get to see her again.

06/07/2016 reflections after psychiatrist appointment

I had a better appointment today with my clinical psychiatrist, but it was intense. I struggled communicating at some points but overall it was a lot better. My lamotrigine I’ve learnt is a mood stabiliser. Since taking that it really helped prevent me from hitting the lows I was in, that could last for months. Before November which is my next appointment with my clinical psychiatrist I want to of filled this book, but I also want to finish the book I started where I only write about my past. Was glad to see that my writing was starting to improve, was noticeable when I began to read it. I know I am in a better place than I was before, and I really like my clinical psychiatrists because she is a thorough person when looking into what my condition is. I’m going to work on relaxing and reducing my stress levels. My past may be messy and messed up, but my present has barely any issues, that’s probably why my struggles and behaviours became more apparent, they were out of my realm of the ‘norm’. The level of quetiapine I must take is high, I’m wondering if I should begin reducing them down in the future when my body has adjusted, to the increase in the lamotrigine. My clinical psychiatrist hopefully, will now know roughly how or what the right way is to help me recover from everything that has happened. Trying to find positives about myself is something that I have always struggled with. I live a quiet life, the only issues I seem to have is from an ex that is not even mine. I could not predict, understand or control the actions of others or the outcome, because it was that insane with no logical or rationality, full of nothing but emotions. It was a really scary place so how I reacted was affected and influenced by my moods and having to stop all the meds I was taking. My anxiety was extremely high, to be honest I probably should have admitted myself into hospital the year before. I don’t blame anyone for my actions I take responsibility. With the help of CMHT (community mental health team) and the people closest to me I’m hoping I can bring back my confidence and like myself. People always seem to initially attract towards me because I am different, but eventually they will back off. I have great insight in people, but nobody likes their flaws out in the open. I have a bad habit of analysing people and trying to figure out why they are the way that they are. These types of people are not a constant and cannot usually handle constructive or a criticism of any type. I can find that hard myself especially when I was really depressed, in a way I probably use them as they are the type of people that want company from everyone and it’s quite clear they are never going to change their ways for the better. Right now, is quite challenging because I have a lot of past issues and traumas to work on. I can feel myself constantly putting up walls but at the same time more are getting knocked down. This is not going to be an easy journey but through all this I will have a better quality of life possibly, and that is worth its weight in gold, baby steps.

Writing is extremely useful as once you read it back it takes you through a period in your life that you can reflect on and get a better perspective of what’s been going on. I’ve been thinking a lot about my conversation with my clinical psychiatrist. It was so intense, and my brain raced a lot so got a little more tangled with my communication. I feel sluggish today, not too much energy but that’s just a little off, and by saying that I mean different, not myself, at times I question who I am, but I know I’m still here

A lot of issue highlighted are still the same and what I was told could help has never happened, yet again holds merit to that saying ‘don’t believe everything you hear or see.’  I’m going to end here and start this off another day from more entries from this particular journal.  Thanks for reading.