Really frightening spell / NHS deterioration!

I have long-term depression and have been on a variety of antidepressants. I also have chronic pain problems. For that I was put on nortriptyline in a low dose, and have now changed over fully to that, as I had been getting more side-effects than good effects from my venlafaxine.

A couple of weeks ago I had a major setback which, I think, was largely triggered by doing too much, being on steroids, a back procedure (fortunately successful) and the sad loss of one of my small pets. I was just beginning to pick up, when I had a really difficult weekend. On Friday morning I came down to find that, not surprisingly, my very elderly hamster had slipped peacefully away. However, one of my youngish, although slightly disabled, rats had died - possibly after a fall. I have been helping with the administration of a rat show, and this month led to a number of last-minute problems, which I found a great strain. On Sunday morning an oldish rat whom I had re-homed and who had had an operation with some complications lost her fight - but I also found another rat with a slight disability dead, obviously from cage-mate bullying, the seriousness of which I hadn't appreciated, while his other two cage-mates had nasty tail injuries which require operation tomorrow - not good when I'm watching finances.

On Monday night and Tuesday morning I tried repeatedly to ring what is supposed to be the free Mental Health line for our area, but 8 times received the message that the line was busy and to wait at least 10 minutes before ringing back. I tried the 111 number for some information and found the person on the end unhelpful. If this is NHS mental health care now, I fear for the future. On the Tuesday I was struggling with suicidal thoughts, reached the MH line and they sent a policeman round to assess my risk. I found this quite scary.

I've seen my GP and am being referred to the Mental Health team - I don't know how long I'll have to wait, but it should give me a better contact if necessary. I think the nortriptyline is the right med for me, although I wouldn't mind a larger dose. I've resigned my rat show admin post and am cutting back on some rat-related things - also decided that I won't buy any more until my numbers have decreased considerably - then go on the waiting list for a couple of show rats. (Fancy rats make brilliant pets!) Also, one of my Salvation Army Officers is going to help me get on top of things at home, and I've postponed my boiler installation.

Must go and take my medication, give the 'tail boys' theirs and get to bed!


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3 Replies

  • Emotionally I am improving. I think I've identified a lot of things which contributed to the meltdowns over the last two weeks. Although my GP is concerned that my new meds are not helping, I've really only been on the minimum therapeutic dose for less than two weeks, having been swapping them fairly gradually, and I think that, possibly with a slight increase, they will help.

    I've been doing quite a bit of mind-map work to identify precipitating factors and the actions I am taking or need to take. I pick my little scraps up in half an hour after their operations which have, apparently, gone well, and have corn-on-the-cob waiting for them..

    I've found it helpful to be answering a lot of peoples' questions on various internet groups today - it does make me feel useful. I'm trying to plan and pace things, as a lot is physically based, and this virus is being a devil today.

    I will be doing some stuff in the living room and probably sort out what can go on GumTree (for which I get a little money) and FreeCycle (for which I don't!) At some point I'll look into information about finding the best gas/electricity suppliers etc. - and also put out my medication for the week, plus journalling and my 'daily three positives', which I didn't do yesterday. Probably tomorrow, when I'm where I won't have internet access, I'll make notes for when my CMHT appointment comes through..

  • just sending you a big hug hun (( :) ))

  • Hi Missrat ,I spoke to someone from the "wellbeing centre" yesterday!( CMHT) and although very apprehensive she did put me sort of at ease, (Although I was sweating the whole time and that was on the telephone) again the suggestion of changing Drs came up and this is from someone I had only just met so to speak! I really wish I was a strong as you appear to be (trying to work out what it is that causes your anxieties etc etc) although very afraid I will try to go for the one to one meeting!