Long Road


After seeing my Psychiatrist, and following a dismal week of terrible anxiety and low mood, we have decided to make some medication changes. We have also decided to continue with weekly visits, and I have no doubt after talking with my Psychologist today, Monday, that will change to a more frequent visit as well. It’s going to be a long road to recovery I feel.

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My visit to the Psychiatrist was surprisingly quick, I was also accompanied by my wife for the first time. We entered, discussed my mood, my motivation, my suicidal ideation and overall thoughts on the effectiveness of the medication. My answers were, Low, almost non-existent, 4 thoughts this week and steps backwards instead of forwards. The Psychiatrist then discussed with my wife how my Illness was effecting the home and family unit, which she honestly answered “His level of frustration and irritability is increasing, anxiety is almost constant, and I feel that he is getting worse. The anxiety was originally manageable but now he is having physical manifestations”. All of which is true.

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We discussed the options for medication changes, and went backwards and forwards about the pros and cons. We eventually settled on the idea of a mood stabiliser, in this case Lithium Carbonate. The idea is, over the coming weeks to slowly increase the dose from 450mg a day to whatever is necessary to have an effect, while still staying below the toxic levels, which is pretty easy to do with Lithium. I will continue on the rest of medications with the exception of no longer taking Diazepam, which even after the first night, I have noticed a rapid decline in my ability to sleep.

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My visit to the Psychologist tomorrow shall be interesting, there are things I discussed with my Psychiatrist which they would like me to discuss with them. They include, Bullying at school, a toxic and traumatic workplace and my relationship with my Son (who is my wife’s from her first marriage) though I treat him as if he were my own. I don’t quite know what will be in store for me otherwise, I am hoping a plan and a way forward, as well as starting the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is just a fancy way of saying learning to cope.

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On a professional note, I continue to wait for my Nursing Registration…. only been 9 Weeks, can’t rush these things.

I hope these posts continue to inspire people to reach out and get the help they need. I also hope they continue to normalise the conversation around mental health, and begin to remove some of the stigma surrounding it. If these posts have helped you or someone you know, or encouraged you to seek help, let us know in the comments below, or go to our Connect page and send me an email, I’d love to hear from you. Until next week,

Maintain the Rage,

Luke Sondergeld

2 thoughts on “Long Road

  1. Hey Luke,

    Glad to hear you are putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it is the ability to do that if nothing else that allows us to wade through the ka-ka that life presents us with. Do not worry overmuch about your road to recovery; it is an old adage that a journey is not defined by the beginning or the end, but the process of getting from one to the other.

    It has been my experience that it takes some time for professional therapy sessions to build up steam, something that I’m certain you can appreciate. To begin with, you’ll have a lot to get out in order to free up some mindspace to start truly considering some of the underpinnings that lead to your current mood/perspective. I must be in at least my third year of seeing my own Psych and it has only been recently where I am beginning to really understand things that we discussed months or even years ago.

    Returning to your journey, I will not tell you that the journey itself is easy. You will falter from time to time. Given what you’ve quoted your Wife saying tells me that you’re stumbling a bit at the moment. Don’t beat yourself up over it, whatever you do. It is a part of the process, especially the mistakes you will feel you are making. Being your journey, I won’t begin to comment as to how you walk your path, save for this:

    Face the next day with Courage, remembering that Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to continue in the face of it. Be Patient with yourself, this doesn’t come with a manual and even with current science Mental Health is still a very unknown area. Humans are well…human. That particular quagmire has been debated for eons now. You’re going to learn whole new things about yourself that you didn’t even know about; in a way your are going to meet yourself all over again. Embrace the experience with both arms.

    Having gained tools to consider elements of my own psyche I am astounded by how coping mechanisms and attitudes I developed when I was young have created an extremely obsolete and twisted value system. That system led me to literally throw myself at problems, often to the cost to myself. Over time I gained something of a tough emotional exterior; it wasn’t until I had something sufficient enough to completely break the system that it forced me to see it for what it was. My point to that is you may well encounter the same, I am given to understand it is not uncommon. Do not disparage yourself for that either, Adulting and becoming an adult are again devoid a set of instructions. The process is going to be imperfect.

    Meds are awesome & it sounds like you’re getting the good stuff. But they are not an end within themselves, simply a tool to help you get to a more stable platform. Respect them for what they are, but no more.

    I write this for you in the off-chance that it helps, take it with a grain of salt (Tequila and Lemon work wonders too…). Though we have not met each other again, you are family nonetheless. There is no doubt that you will not only survive this, but thrive because of it. You have much to look forward to, if you choose to see it as such.

    Maintain the Rage, but don’t let it define you.

    Much Love,

    T

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Moving Forward | Maintain The Rage

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