My continuing battle

Hi All

First of it's good to meet you all and I am pleased that this forum is being well used and that members are supporting each other. As an Admin my job is to look into the forum and make sure that things are running smoothly and that members are keeping to the guidelines which I am pleased to say everyone is doing. If there is any problems feel free to send me a message.

I have been struggling with mental health issues for a long time a lot of which have come from me having Aspergers Syndrome. Over the last few years I have been on various medications and done numerous talking therapies which have helped a lot in me understanding my triggers to depression and anxiety.

The last couple of weeks has been a bit of a nightmare for me and I feel I have taken a step backwards. I have a chronic pain condition which has been getting worse and I feel this has had a big impact on my mood. I am also going through a couple of medication changes which always upsets my system. I am switching from Escitalopram to Paroxatine and have also switched some of my pain meds.

I think if you have a setback you do need to be prepared and the quicker you realise the symptoms the better you can deal with them before things get worse. I still wish sometimes that I could just wake up and every thing will be ok but unfortunately things don't work like that. For me acceptance has been key and it took me years to come to terms that I will have these problems but through techniques I have learned I will be able to manage things better Mindfulness has really helped me to accept who I am.

A lot has happened to me in the last 2 years I lost my job due to the discrimination and stigma of my employer and then had the stress of a tribunal case and also found the cause of my chronic pain which came as a blow. I take each day as it comes and try and set myself goals and tick them of once complete and try and stay as positive as possible about the future and not dwell on the past.

Writing this blog today has helped me as I was feeling depressed but it helps to talk about things. I hope every one has found this forum as helpful as I have?

Getting-By

6 Replies

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  • Hi,

    It's lovely to read about another professional who is also struggling with mental health issues but who realises that being healthy and also having problems is not incompatible.

    I've had emotional difficulties throughout my life and they have affected every aspect of my life, from forming and maintaining relationships, mothering, getting qualifications, getting jobs and keeping them, developing friendships and interests... the list goes on and on. I also have Aspergers tendencies although I think the term can be overused in that I also think some of the tendencies are also aspects of normality and just to one side of the norm spectrum.

    I have had many years of private and NHS psychotherapy, the latter mainly because I had sufficient verbal intelligence to look for it in the right places and to ensure I got it! Otherwise I might have been fobbed off with medication rather than the kind of help that has actually brought about long term changes, although like you I do continue to suffer stigma, setbacks and depression.

    I am a trained psychotherapist and had UKCP registration but still find myself in a position where I've been unable to get and hold down the kinds of jobs that my impressive CV should equip me for. I've practiced Family Therapy, Psychoanalytic Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, I've two very different and very good degrees, I have five postgraduate qualifications, I'm a trained artist, I have practical skills, I have empathy and my friends who all work in the caring professions consider me very healthy - despite all that I just find myself unable to manage life without quite intensive support from a privaet psychotherapist who I see weekly and from a Psychiatrist who I still write to in times of need despite it being years since seeing him for appointments.

    I've worked as an unqualified social worker for years, a college lecturer for years, an NHS trainee psychotherapist for years, have vary many years admin experience including top level work - and still I lack the courage and emotional security to enable me to go out into the world and get the work I love doing which is working as a psychotherapist. How perverse and cruel life can be, how cruel we can be to ourselves.

    I come onto this website when I'm feeling low mainly because I find that answering other people's blogs meets my need for social interaction when I'm feeling lonely and offers me an opportunity to think about the needs of someone else rather than myself. Sometimes I can give freely in my comments to blogs, sometimes I can hardly be bothered and sometimes it just all feels too much on top of my own feelings.

    I think the most frustrating thing for me and the thing that leads to the deepest depression is the ongoing feeling that I have so much to offer and yet no one seems really to need it much of the time. I don't mean that I want to be needed in an obvious way, like by always thinking about the needs of others or anything like that, it's just that having no one to think about and no social interaction inevitably leads to a turning inwards and that just reinforces depression.

    It's great to write to somone who has some similar experiences and is in a situation that has some similarities.

    I've also experienced stigma in the workplace, at college and university, when dealing with medics though actually not as much as many people but that's probably because I am middle class and able to express myself within the same language as health professionals. I also have sufficient capacity to be assertive when necessary in some situations, jsut not the ones that matter to me. The things we learn from our parents and the way those things continue to affect our lives for so long.

    Speaking of long, this blog commentis now long enough!

    Speak again

    Suex

  • Hi Sue

    Thanks a lot for reading my blog and taking the time to wright a great reply and yes it dose seem that we have had similar experiences and I can relate to what you have wrote in your post.

    I have so much to offer to the workplace but do need just a little extra support but as soon as you mention mental health or Aspergers you can see the doors closing in front of you which is very frustrating and wrong. I draw from my personal experiences which I feel makes me a stronger person and I know I am very capable of working if someone would just give me the chance. I had a good relationship with my last employer which is why I felt comfortable disclosing my mental health as I felt they would agree to reasonable adjustments how wrong was I.

    I volunteer for this role and agree it can help coming here and reading others experiences and reaching out when you can to help others is very rewarding. It is interesting that you have trained as a therapist as I have just enrolled onto a beginner counseling course and looking forward to starting.

    Thanks again Sue for your reply it has been good to meet you.

    Getting-By

  • It's interesting to read your account. I am now retired. After leaving nursing I spent 26 vears working with one charity. I had some problems due partly to my depression - I was too open talking about suicide, and problems due to what I believe to be Aspeger's. I also have a chronic pain problem - and found this community through the Pain Concern community here - if you're not on it we'll be pleased to see you. Struggling with side-effect from my pain relief.

  • Hi Missrat

    Thanks for your response it sounds like we also have a lot in common and I will have a look at the pain concern community. I was not diagnosed with Aspergers until recently but was pleased to find out as it pieced every thing together. I find it difficult to relate to people and suffer really bad social anxiety and live my life to a strict routine which has lead to OCD.

    Due to trying to deal with the traits of Aspergers as I was growing up I developed a complexed coping strategy that I am only just beginning to unravel which is taking its time. I have various anxiety disorders which tend to feed into depression and its all a bit of a vicious cycle.

    Thanks again for responding

    getting-by

  • i feel the same i got asd so has my 19 year old son i have lupus lot off operations now iam on morphine spolphate because of the pain so to help me to cope i joined st john ambulance and now i have been pushed out as i put public at risk but i gave them 9 years of my life it keopt me going i couldnt fight it as iam tired i told them up front about my health its put me back again it happen back in oct 2012 now i do nothing

  • It is always helpful for me to come onto this site and read the blogs. I have just left a job because of my depression and the culture was very bullying, as well as my line manager being unsupportive. Things came to a head when I was recovering from a very bad virus which spread to my left eye and I had to have emergency treatment at hospital for it. The day I managed to get back to work he shouted at two of us for 20 minutes. Shouting and confrontation really do affect my mental health and I decided to quit. I am now looking for another job as I will not be able to make ends meet otherwise and I am hoping that I can hold this one down properly. All I really need is a little understanding and support when things are difficult.

    Still I have started to have the odd morning now when I do not wake up with crippling anxiety so I have realised that the environment was one of the main culprits. This is a major improvement. I have gone back onto antidepressants and am going to up the dose this week. I thought I could cope without them but clearly I cannot.

    I know that I am good at my job but like Sue and others I struggle to find employment at the right level because of my mental health.

    One very positive example I should relate from a few years ago. I was studying part-time for my masters at Cambridge University and had a major crisis in my depression. Not only did they suspend my studies and give me extra support but I received a hand-written note from the Head of Department offering personal support and detailing his own experiences of depression. So there are pockets of genuine care around. That is how I have always tried to deal with staff I have managed in terms of mental health issues (and others of course) and I think it is a good way to be.

    Good luck all - the support on here is tremendous.

    Colette xx

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