Saturday, May 25, 2024

I'm going through a bit of a rough time at the moment. Despite my recent acute ketamine infusion treatments and then my fortnightly maintenance ketamine infusion treatment, I've found my mood a little low, and my suicidal thoughts a little higher. I like to think that the low mood was more linked to the anniversary of my Nan's passing that was this week. As the days have continued on, and the anniversary become further and further away, I have felt my mood starting to lift, and the tears have stopped begging to fall. My psychiatrist told me that I could always do an extra treatment here and there, or even have the treatments weekly for a while if need be, but I've been keen to limit them to fortnightly. I hate being in hospital, and the fact that I already need to be in hospital for 2 days in every 14 is bad enough for me.

Today I had a lovely outing with my sister, my niece and my brother in law to a busy shopping centre. This is NOT something that I would usually enjoy. So many people in such a tiny space makes me very anxious and uncomfortable. I have medication that I usually take that helps, but today I didn't need it. There were short periods where we were in a store, and I felt a little overwhelmed, but for the most part, I was able to manage the anxiety without the need for medication. I am not at the stage where I would brave a busy shopping centre alone just yet (especially on a weekend), but it was nice to go with my family and spend some time with them.

Tomorrow I plan on having a quiet day at home. I am in two minds about going walking somewhere. I did a fair bit of walking today, so it would be my third day with above average steps for me. My goal eventually is to work towards five days per week with over 10,000 steps. This has been triggered by stepping on the scales last week and being the heaviest I've ever been in my life. And also because I know that walking regularly was one of the activities that has had a positive influence on my mental health in the past. The hardest thing though, is finding the motivation when you're suffering with depression, which is why I use my support worker to push me to walk when I don't feel like it.

At all three of my mental health appointments this week, I tried to hide the suffering that I was feeling. My treating team know me well enough, to know that I'm not always going as well as I project that I am. I managed to keep the tears at bay, but I regretted not talking about things with them, because I needed an out, I needed some release from the noise in my head. I should have been more forthcoming with my emotions, and used that time to talk about how I was feeling and how I could improve my mood.

It's okay to keep the emotions hidden in some circumstances, like when you're trying to focus at work, etc, but to have mental health appointments, with people trained to assist those who are struggling with mental health conditions, it was really quite silly of me to try and hide it all. Funnily enough I emailed them all last night, and I actually feel like I got that release from the thoughts circling around and around in my mind. I'm, after three years, only just now getting used to open up to my treatment team. Previously I would always sit silent in our appointments, where they'd have to guess what I was feeling, and I'd respond with "I don't know" to any question that they asked me.

I know I still need to work on my self-esteem, as that's what made it so hard to open up to the treatment team. I was so afraid that the things I said would sound dumb or stupid, and they'd realise what a terrible, unworthy person I was. Much to my surprise when I actually started talking about my feelings, they were better able to diagnose me, and therefore better able to treat me. I was never made to feel stupid for anything I said, and they actually completely understrood what I was telling them, because the words I had spoken were a common emotion or thought for people suffering the same conditions as me.

So now I'm trying to be all open about everything, in an attempt to release all of those innermost thoughts and feelings, and to find some relief. I feel alone and isolated. I know I have so many people who love me in this world, but it's not the same as feeling emotionally supported. I need someone to hold me and listen to me cry, someone to relate to how I feel, someone to validate my emotions. I don't talk to my husband or my family enough for this to happen. I shut them out as I feel like such a burden on them when I'm at the peak of my depression. They have never said anything to suggest this is the case, but my self-destroying mind takes over and just assumes that I must be a burden on them when I discuss how I feel.

Where to from here? My plan is to keep walking, at least three times per week. To continue with my volunteer shift each Monday. To head into hospital on Thursday for my Friday ketamine treatment. To try and be present with all interactions with people, instead of dissociating and removing myself emotionally from the conversation. I have uni starting in about seven weeks, so that will be another thing to keep me busy. Somewhere else to focus, rather than being lost in the thoughts that consume my mind. I have so many positive things happening in my life that it's the perfect time to trial these ketamine fortnightly treatments, and make the biggest effort to try and contain my depression.

This week was tough, but I hope it's not always going to be like that. I am making smart decisions to improve my mood, and I have the absolute best treatment team that a girl could ask for. Even after three years of treating me (at least), they are all so dedicated to trying new things and working together to figure out a plan that works. So as I finish this post, I guess I can summarise it as follows, it's been a shit week, but I'm doing the right things to improve my depression, and I have the best care available as I face my C-PTSD and try to work my way back to functional mental health.

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