Steps Taken

So over the past couple of weeks I have been writing about my journey through a poor state of Mental Health; New Year Just Me, Breaking Point, and First Steps. Since then I have seen a Psychologist, and a Psychiatrist and been on differing medications for a fortnight. This post will be a reflection on the week that was.

Please note I will not hold back on what I have experienced.

Firstly, the medications. My GP prescribed 10mg of Lexapro two weeks ago, with 10mg of Temazepam to help me sleep. Since seeing the Psychiatrist, he has upped my Lexapro to 20mg, changed the Temazepam for 2mg Diazepam, and added 1mg of Resperidone. The reason behind change was the 10mg wasn’t cutting it for my depressive thoughts, the Temazepam is a great sleeping tablet but the Psychiatrist wanting a more calming medication, and the Resperidone is traditionally an anti-psychotic, but when given at low doses works well as an anti-anxiety medication. The problem is, it can take a while. As such, my thoughts are still low, I am still experiencing periodic opportunistic suicidal ideation, and I feel like I am a passenger in my own life.

The last point is the one I want to explain a little more. I am naturally an extravert, I normally feel recharged after social situations, however of late I have been feeling drained. I have also been feeling like it wouldn’t matter if I was present or not, like I was  an observer to what was going on, without actually being there. This leads to thoughts of why bother, why come, I should have just stayed home. These thoughts are never helpful to anyone with depression as isolation is the enemy. However, I cannot help the thoughts, I cannot shake them, and no matter how much I try and engage, I cannot shake the feeling.

Next, I mentioned, opportunistic suicidal ideation. This term is something I have coined to explain to my specialists, and subsequently to you, the kind of thoughts I have been having. Traditionally, suicidal ideation follows some steps;

  1. Thoughts that you are worthless
  2. Thoughts that life isn’t worth living
  3. Thoughts of taking your own life
  4. Thoughts of how you would take your own life
  5. Thoughts of when you would take your own life
  6. Collecting the method of taking your own life
  7. Attempting to take your own life

As you can see it is a slow build up of thought, it requires the previous thought to execute the next. The reason why I chose the term opportunistic suicidal ideation is because I don’t have thoughts of planning suicide. What I experience is the immediate thought of how and when and the method at the same time. For example, cooking dinner and while holding a knife having the thought of slicing my arm while I a standing there in the moment, or driving the car into a tree. They don’t have any preconceived notion of premeditation, but rather are spontaneous, and thankfully fleeting. They tend to arrive, make themselves known, and then summarily be dismissed. This is my saving grace, and the only reason why I have any thought as to being safe in my own company.

Sleep has been a hit a miss affair. For the mot part my ability to get to sleep hasn’t changed. It still takes several hours to get to sleep, however what has changed is my ability to stay asleep. Instead of tossing and turning, waking several times during the night and getting three to four hours, I am now sleeping a fairly solid six hours. Except for Saturday night, which was nothing short of terrible. This has led to a less then perfect day mentally. However, I persevere and attempt to sleep better.

Today, being Monday, I will be returning to my GP for a review, discussion surrounding my medication and blood tests. I will also, no doubt, have a discussion regarding my current mental state, my sleep and my thoughts. So that will be fun. I will continue to write about my story and experience in the hope that someone will benefit and we can normalise the conversation about Mental Health and Mental Illness. I also hope that I can encourage those to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to suicide and suicide ideation. Until, next week;

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

5 thoughts on “Steps Taken

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