Victoria saw the doctor yesterday and he has put her on a low dose anti depressant for a couple of months to see how she gets on. She was actually in the process of having a panic attack as we went in so he got to see exactly how she gets with any stress or anxiety. He has also referred her for Therapy/Counselling which he said could take a few months to get an appointment, hopefully by which time she will have calmed down a bit more and feel more comfortable with the idea as at the moment she says she is not 'talking to a stranger' about how she feels ;-). Must say I feel a lot better too that she has agreed to some form of help and fingers crossed things will calm down. I will keep you all posted on how we get on and thanks to you all for the huge support you have given us. Jo xxxx
Just a quick update x: Victoria saw the doctor... - Headway
Just FYI all the advice I've had around antidepressants, and my wife's on her third different prescription, is that they don't work if you drink. Alcohol is a depressant and so nullifies the effects of the meds. It's worth reading the advice note that comes in the packet.
My wife also was referred for counselling. It took about 9 months for the appointments to start, and this was after she'd threatened to kill herself. If you're investing any hope in the counselling I would consider finding a private therapist. I did so for my wife after about 4 months of waiting (we used the eventual referral for couples counselling).
It's a shame your daughter has a closed attitude at the moment - perhaps when the therapist is no longer a stranger she will open up. I highly recommend it, but honesty is essential. My wife was not honest but didn't want to risk being criticised for not committing, so she didn't tell me it wasn't right. Of course, the therapist couldn't tell me anything. Does your daughter open up to you?
Either way, assume it's going to take *ages* for the referral to come through.
I would also suggest keeping an eye on her personality as she starts on the meds. My wife was put on them before she was even conscious, so I've never had a raw experience of her new personality. It's hard to tell whether her emotional flatness and inertia are a result of the injury, the meds or something else, but keep an eye out for changes. Also, it's supposed to take 2-3 weeks before the benefits start to kick in and during that time users can be even more erratic. The advice note will have details.
Oh I am sure that given time she will be able to talk about it but at the moment she is happy to try the tablets. She doesn't have a huge problem it is more for her anxiety and frustration that we are trying the anti depressants. She has done so well over this last 8 months since her accident and in comparison to other people's unfortunate outcomes she is very very lucky indeed but just needs that extra bit of help. Thankyou for the info Ulysses as all information and experiences is greatly received. Jo xx
I think just the fact she is 'going along' with things is a good sign and really hope things improve for her and yourself. I still think time is the best healer and if you can see the tiniest of improvements each month it is in the right direction. Remember you need an outlet yourself and have a 'day off', as it's easy to immerse yourself with the problems and it enables you to come back a bit more invigorated to deal with it all!
thinking of you x p
I don't know if its a bit of wishful thinking but she seems more relaxed already ;-). Maybe it's just the fact that she has got some help now, who knows. Thanks Pollyanne your words are comforting. Time out is difficult as we spend a lot of time together and when she does actually venture out with a friend (which is very rare) I'm a nervous wreck til she comes back. Oh well that's the joys of being a mum. Will keep you posted how we get on over the next few weeks. Jo xxxx
HI Jo Jo
I am pleased Victoria and yourself are getting help. The anti depressants did work quite quickly for me so hopefully they will for Victoria and if they are totally helping they can always be increased . I am on 30 mg. It good she has gone out today and perhaps that will build her confidence to go out more often. Perhaps invite her friend round too. Sorry if I sound like I am telling you how to suck eggs. as another member mentioned it is good that Victoria is accepting counselling and visiting GP. My partner who said he never needed to talk to somebody has started to. he feels very much on his own and does not how to cope with me and the ripple effect it has with our own family. Ian is a nervous wreck he says when I go out, he says and always texting and phoning, but it must be worse for you as a mother. We received counselling through a neuro rehab unit and a counsellor offered her services for free, and saw us quickly. I cannot say we are good but understanding what brain injury does to the person and the family is a daily learning process. We have had a terrible week but we still here and talking helps. If you ever want to speak to my husband to get a carer's perspective just let me know. he says he hates it I.e. the brain injury and what it does to me, but sometimes it feels it is me is hating because it is me. take care and if things deteriorate ask for help telling your GP things are worse or contact headway, we left it too long due to lack of ignorance and support and the problem is probably bigger than if we had help earlier. You have to search for brain injury help it does not come to you like other. Illnesses . I am anxious about Xmas, a stressful time, lots of busy shops, people going to parties, which I cannot face, and miss my carefree days when sipping wine whilst cooking the Xmas roast. it is hard constantly trying to control yourself and stop the bad side coming out, but I think it is a vicious circle, more you worry the more likely it is going to come .
Hi sem2011. Thankyou for your response. Yes Victoria seems more settled on the tablets even though she has only been on them a week! It's quite amazing the difference in her. She's not as anxious and there have been no snappy outbursts this week so far. I can't believe the difference, even my friends have noticed a difference. I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time but you know, if you just take one day at a time and don't start worrying about Christmas my love until Christmas! It's not worth getting stressed over. Thankyou for the offer of speaking to your hubby likewise if he needs a chat I'm here too. This website saved me from total despair. Thanks again Jo xxxx
Thank Jo. I will try and take one day at a time. I worry so much of effect of my brain injury, pain, fatigue plays a big factor too in my life, which inhibits my family life, but any way Thanks for the offer for my husband , and you too if need somebody to talk to we are here. It is positive Victoria is calmer . It had the same effect with myself. I just know I need to keep stress levels low, take care and keep in touch.
Just a note to say that different antidepressants have different doses for the same net effect, so 30mg of one is not comparable with 30mg of another.
I'm glad to hear it's having a really positive effect. It makes me wonder about my wife's meds. I've never seen any effect, except perhaps a bit of a flattening or dulling of emotional state. Certainly no positivity.
Hi Ulysses. Thanks for your response. I'm sorry to hear that you don't think your wife's meds are having any effect. Maybe she needs to try a different one (there are dozens to try!). I am amazed at the difference in Victoria in just a week and she is only on 20mg of Fluoxetine per day. Just the little bit of help she needed I think. Maybe you should ask your GP to try if something else would have more effect? Our GP said that not all anti depressants work in the same way for everyone and that it's trial and error getting the right one. I guess we were lucky that we got the right one first time. Hope you get something sorted. Jo xxx
Hello Jo-Jo9, thank you for updating us. I'm really glad that your GP has been helpful and that medication seems to be having a positive effect already - all good! Maybe being 'in the system' has an encouraging effect too: I mean that, even though you have to wait to see a counsellor, it's helpful to know that there is help on its way.
Just an idea (which maybe you do already): when progress feels very slow, it can be really helpful to read back over a diary or notes that you keep of symptoms. I'm suggesting this for you as much as for Victoria, as after all you are a 'victim' too in this. Keeping a diary, just as and when, means that you can plot the progress and improvements - not to mention having notes to refer back to when you need to explain things to doctors and counsellors. Oh, and you can vent your feelings in it too when necessary, which can be very therapeutic!!
All the best.
Thanks aelfwyn. That bit of advice is a good idea. I do have a big box file full of all the things relating to her accident but its mainly get well cards, hospital letters and so on. I hadn't reali thought about keeping a diary. Maybe I will try that
It posted before I had finished! I can't believe the difference in her in just a week and I think you are right about the 'help is coming' attitude that she now seems to have. Very best wishes Aelfwyn xxx
Hi we to have relied on the diary mainly earlier in the recovery process but do often go back to it to keep us focused on the positive steps being made. Photos, videos also have help my son as he struggles with some of his short time memory, so this can be a way to help (hey don't know about anyone else, but I don't always remember everything lol)
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