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1696489 tn?1370825574
My psych ward story... READ ME!
This is not a question.  It is an odyssey of anxiety and depression.  My hope is that maybe something in ths will help someone in need of something that actually worked for me.  My childhood was perfect, I was the baby of the family, with doting mom, older brother, and older sister.  When I was 15, my sister and her three young children died in a house fire.  I was beyond devastated, and unconsolable.  I felt like she left me right when I needed her the most.  My poor mother was in no shape to be of any help to me.  In school, I got into the bad crowd, smoked pot, smoked cigarrettes, drank alcohol, and was very promiscuous.  I literally did every bad thing a kid could do.  I was hurt and angry, and refused to listen when anyone tried to tell me to stop.  Whenever I found myself alone, with no one in earshot, I would just stand and scream, long and full of pain, until my throat hurt and my head was banging.  I began to have periods of dissasociation (sp?) and numbness in my extremeties.  I continued to act out whenever I could, barely graduated high school, abd refused to go to college.  Then my life became a slow but steady more downward spiral.  I dated men my mother didnt like, just because she didnt like them.  I worked sporadically.  Started having babies at 18, four of them altogether, fathered by men who wre irresponsible in awful ways.  I became convinced that I was worthless, and stopped caring about alot of things.  I was abused in every possible way, and convinced it was my fault.  The years went on, with me basically trying to raise my kids, and not doing a good job of it.Finally, when my youngest was only a year old, I met a man who wanted to get to know me.  Of course I knew I'd mess this up too, or he would.  So I went through my motions of not being nice to him, pushing him, testing him, to see where things would break.  And came to the conclusion that this guy was a flipping rock who would not be put off, no matter what I threw at him.  He cooked and cleaned for me, and babysat my kids while I worked.  When I cried, he held me.  He listened when I spoke, even if I wasn't being nice.  By then I had already begun a regimen of Zoloft through my moms doctor, in an effort to calm me down.  That worked for awhile, and I was keeping jobs longer.  I found myself falling in love with this man, whom I will call James.   He fell in love with me and my kids at the same time.  I started to be nice to him alot more often.  We began our (now) 17 year relationship, and enjoyed a good life for several years.  Then I suffered a severe nervous breakdown that lasted two weeks, during which I had to be cared for like a small child by my family (thank God for them).  This was due to stress at work, and the doctor added Klonopin to my Zoloft.  I stayed on that a few more years, feeling a bit better, but I could still feel the anxiety inside, waiting to come out.  I suffered panic attacks regularly.  The doctor put me on Rispiridone and Ambien.  Again a bit of releif, but not enough.  Stress at work continued until I couldn't take anymore and I quit.  My thinking there was not only to get away from this major stressor, but to give myself a bit of a break while I looked for more work.  I found a handful of jobs, and all of them brought the anxiety back full force.  I attempted suicide, twice.  My doctor became uncooperative at that point and wanted me committed right away, I refused.  I changed doctors to one that would not only work with me, but also had a psychologist in his practice, who would also see me, and share their findings about me with each other, which I found to be a great idea.  He took me off rispiridone and Zoloft, which he deemed unnecessary, and put me on effexor.  He warned me that it would take awhile (weeks) to work.  I took it as he said to, and gave it plenty of time to work.  Nothing.  Zero improvement.  I was sleeping 16 hours a day, and rarely left my house.  I couldnt work at all like that.  I was also having some sort of (what I was told after a CT scan) harmless pseudo-seizure activity, which scared me to tears.  One day two weeks ago, I was woken up by seizure activity so severe that my body was jumping every few minutes.  I treid distracting myself, eating a meal, showering, then finally I thought a nap might help.  As soon as I got into bed, I just freaked.  I didnt want to spend one more day in bed.  I sat there and screamed and cried and shook, and had to call for help because I was hyperventilating.  At the local hospital, I was given the opportunity to enter a mental and behavioral health ward at another hospital not far away.  The thought scaed me to death.  But continuing to feel awful evry day scared me worse.  I agreed to go, signed all the papers, and was whisked off in an ambulance to ST. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Once there, I continued to panic until I was given a shot of trazadone, which I found comforting, and was able to listen calmly while a nurse xplained how the ward worked.  I would not be restrained unless I became a danger to others, my room would never be locked, and I would have 24 hour access to the halls and activity rooms in the t-shaped ward, as well as any help I needed from the nurses.  I would not be allowed outside, or even off the ward until the hospital psychiatrist said I was allowed to go home.  That could take three days or three weeks, depending on how much help I needed.  I had a room mate, who was a very nice girl.  She helped me find my way around, and explained the rules of conduct, which were all easy and reasonable.  The nurses were awesome.  I got determined to make the best of my time there.  I needed it to work.  I ate my meals, saw the doctor, got meds that worked for real (six of them!), went to every group and activity meeting.  I spoke up and asked questions.  I helped to comfort others who were in distress.  I joined peer conversations and learned how to cope.  I took notes like a maniac.  I showered, made my bed, wore clean clothes, and enjoyed good personal hygeine.  I told my doctor that I would not leave until I was better (in spite of everyone else who just wanted out).  One day, on a Thursday, I saw the doctor, and as usual, he asked me how I was feeling.  Something in me clicked, like puzzle peices coming together, and I grinned really big: I felt really good!  He saw all this on my face and said 'you are going home today.'  And he grinned right back at me.  I had a whole booklet of skills to take home, plus scripts for all my meds plus a refill.  I was home by that afternoon.  Ever since, my life is wonderful.  I have structure in my life, and I am happy to get out of bed every morning.  I do not nap at all.  I go to bed only at bedtime.  I go out and socialize with friends, shopping, etc.  No job yet, but that will come at the right time.  My life is mine again.  I hope this story is useful to someone... - Blu
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Avatar universal
Hi BluCrystal,

I read your whole journal entry. I'm very happy for you that you are finally
feeling better and that "life is wonderful". I myself went though a
depression about twelve years ago. There were a number of things that
led to the depression which lasted more than 8 months. I got a lot of help
too. You have really been through the ringer, but you are a survivor and
for that you should be very proud of yourself. I'm so glad the new meds
are working for you and that you're finally feeling good. I will end my
comment by saying I used to take my health for granted. Now I know
how important staying healthy is. Be well. I like butterflies too. Eve :)
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