Jonny's First Post

Hi there,

My name is Jonny, and this is my first post. It is long, rambling, and honest. Please be kind.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression most of my adult life, maybe longer if I care to admit it. The first time I remember thinking about hurting myself I was around 8.

Most of the time I can pass for a "normal" human being, whilst hiding, faking emotional responses, smiling, laughing, to disguise the fact I felt empty inside. Sometimes however the disguise slips. Normally this starts with an anxiety episode, I have a diagnosis of GAD, which stops me sleeping, eating, and then this wears me down and leads into depression.

This year has been tough. My Dad has been ill for the last 10 years or so, with early onset dementia, which was then Diagnosed as Alzheimer's. Over the last 12 months he got much worse. My mum was caring for him at home, but it got so he could not be left alone. My mum worked herself into the ground caring for him, but would not allow people to help, so I had to intervene and ask social services to help her.

A care package was put in place, but within 6 weeks this was breaking down, My Dad attacked a carer, and I had to intervene again. This led to me contacting social services, and this led to my Dad being sectioned. I got my Mum out the house, and away, while I dealt with all this, and witnessed the heavy handed police handcuff and frog march my 70 yo confused dad down the street into a police car and off to the Older persons mental health unit. I felt directly responsible for this, and very guilty, even though there was no alternative.

He is now in a EMI care home, where he has been since August, although I have only been able to summon up the strength to go see him two or three times, and this was when he first moved in, I have not been for a while now.

At the same time of this work also became more stressful than usual. I have quite a stressful Job at the best of times, but things became more unpredictable and difficult. In the past we have had similar times, and I usually cope fine. In fact normally my anxiety and depression are based outside work, and work is the one place I can function.

However this time around I started an anxiety episode focused on work, This started around late September and is still ongoing. This really knocked me for Six, I have had CBT in the past but even the techniques which I really found useful before stopped being useful.

As this went on it go harder and harder to hold myself together. I visited the doctor, who started me on Citalopram. This seemed to help, I felt better able to cope, the anxiety lessened, I even commented to my GP at my med review that I feel like a "normal" person!!

Then about 2 weeks ago I crashed, and crashed hard!!!

I had a couple of difficult experiences in work the week before, which triggered anxiety, and as things progressed I fell into depression. I started self harming in work, scratching the inside of my upper arm with a drawing pin, just enough to cause stinging for a few hours. I don't know why I did this, I have not self harmed in this way before, but I guess when i feel like this at home I drink or use pain drugs such as Tramadol to take the edge off, but I could not do this at work.

A week ago I went to my GP again, she is one of the good ones, none judgmental, understanding and very helpful. She has signed me off work, initially for a fortnight, referred me for counselling, and I have to go back tomorrow as she wants me to keep in touch.

Ever since I have been up and down like a yo yo. I felt good after seeing the doc on Wed and Thurs, then on Fri and Sat I had strong urges to self harm, but I managed to resist, and hold my disguise in place, although sleep eluded me.

On Sunday night, I gave in to my urges and scratched my arm again, and repeated this yesterday, and this morning I cut properly, using a blade not a pin. At the moment it helps, the stinging of the cuts fills the void inside, and it helps me moderate my mood, so I don't feel too High or too low, it allows me to function.

I told my partner about the scratching I did in work, but she kinda freaked out, and was not able to get her head around it, so I have not told her about my most recent cutting. That is why I have posted this here, so I can tell someone, without having friends worry and freak out. I hope there will be people out there who understand this, and will accept it's how I cope at the moment.

Jonny

Days without cutting 0

4 Replies

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  • Hey Jonny, well you have made my plight feel insignificant! I have negative thoughts but for the moment trust that is as far as it goes. I can understand your girlfriend freaking and why you now withhold from her - both are understandable. Whilst quite a few of my friends and family know that I am suffering from stress, none really know how it is impacting on me and I don't really want them as right now I benefit more from their upbeat and fun approaches and don't want them to focus on depressed me! But I like you do need to talk and on here seems a good place and you have also found an understanding Doctor. If you ever want a distraction, please feel free to send me a message, not that I understand how this site works yet! :-) Chin up friend! When I have found the secret, I'll let you know!

  • Thanks MissIcancope,

    Part of the thing with depression is that we all feel our plights are insignificant, and that we are self indulgent when we are down. You would never guess how many times I wrote my first post and then deleted it, feeling it might be seen as attention seeking, dumb, selfish.

    Friends can be a great asset, I have two whom know everything, but most people know nothing, a few know I suffer with "a bit of depression". Maybe there is someone you can share more with, without it having a big impact on your relationship with them?

    I may well need a distraction, I dont sleep much at the moment, and the middle of the night can be a lonely time.

  • Welcome, Jonny

    I'm sorry things are so difficult. People are so shocked by the concept of self-harm - yet think nothing of someone going out and drowning their sorrows in drink. Both are coping mechanisms which do work - for a little while, but have immediate side-effects (hangover or guilt and hiding) and long-term (liver damage or infection etc.) Both can become addictive, and tend to become the first thing to come into our minds when we are stressed, depressed etc. I first harmed (scratching and very mild cutting) when I was 58. I go long periods without, but still get the urge.

    For me, I try to use sensory things to distract me - aromas, sounds (relaxing music), taste (ginger), things to feel (onyx egg etc.), things to look at (photos etc.) plus my animals to pay with (pet rats), and a collection of verbal howlers etc.

    I do hope you can work out some 'safety things' which appeal to your way of thinking. It's good to use them on good days as well.

    You and your partner might find some useful information on some good websites - lifesigns.org.uk, siari.co.uk, nhsn.co.uk

    Take care

    Ann

  • Hiya Johnny,

    I always used to think why do people do that? Are they like stupid or something!? And then I did it. I used a full on blade from the word go I have scars that I'm imbarassrd about. When my mum found out she just asked why? And finally I had the answer that I'd longed to know for most I my life. "Coping" that's what it is, it's just simply coping. Hang in there bud :)

    Megan x

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