Psychologist appointment and group therapy.

So yesterday I went to see my psychologist, She had given me some homework. I had to complete an activity diary, a pain level diary and a thought journal. Nearly every entry in my activity diary consisted of staying in bed, either on laptop in bed, watching TV in bed or listening to music in bed. A couple of times in the past week I went out, took my dog for a walk twice, went to the supermarket, and went to Tae Kwon-do a couple of times. Tae Kwon-do was really the only entry that rated more than 0 on my achievement, enjoyment and closeness to others scale. It was hard to rate my pain for my pain diary, I find it hard to actually evaluate my pain and put numbers to it. But I managed to do it anyway, had a relatively good week pain wise, pain only reached a 9 once and didn’t go lower than a 6. But for me that’s a relatively good week. 

So I showed all this to my psychologist. Told her I didn’t change anything so it was a true reflection of my week. She asked if I knew whether or not it was going to be as bad as it was (that I stayed in bed practically every day) I said yes because that’s all I really do other than go to Tae Kwon-do. She wants to get me out of bed and doing stuff that give me a sense of achievement and enjoyment. Asked me to think about what I use to enjoy doing before I got sick. And I really have no clue it was a long time ago, and I now have the worst memory ever so I have no clue. So got to think about that for next week. 

Today I went to group therapy, which is an emotional coping skills course. It was horrible. I hardly spoke, the only time I did speak was when I had to introduce myself to the person next to me, so I just told her my name and that I like Tae Kwon-do and am a black belt. Other than that I just listened. We went through what the course was going to entail. And started a bit on mindfulness. Which I have tried but find it very hard because of the pain. Was asked to focus on our feet for a minute which was okay, was a bit hard because whilst I was focusing on my feet all I could feel was the pain and so my thoughts were clouded by that because it demands so much attention because it’s in my head. We were then asked to focus on our thoughts and write down our trail of thoughts. Mine consisted of ‘The pain is really bad’, and then it stopped there because that was literally all I was thinking about. I haven’t got any problems with the practice of mindfulness, I believe it’s a really good tool to have. It’s just putting it into practice which is hard, especially when there is pain involved that demands your attention every second.

At the end I went and spoke to one of the women who run the course. I asked her if I had to continue seeing my care coordinator/psychiatric nurse to be able to do this course. (If you read my blog you will know the issues I am having with my psychiatric nurse, basically he is rubbish, I don’t feel able to talk to him and tell him stuff honestly and I don’t really like him) I explained this to the woman who runs the course and she basically said I either have to suck it up and deal with it, that I’m not doing myself any favors by not being honest with him, though I explained the reasons behind this, and it’s not really my fault if I don’t feel able to talk to the guy. Or she said I have to be honest with him and tell him I don’t like him. I wasn’t happy with either of these suggestions, and was pissed off that she was basically telling me to suck it up and deal with it. So I spoke to my mum when the course finished and got her to ring up the place where my psychiatric nurse comes from (I don’t do talking on the phone, makes me anxious.) and ask for someone different, yet again. So this time we have asked for a woman, to see if that makes a difference. Not that I have a problem with men, I had two male psychiatric nurses on the hospital at home team in the beginning who were really nice and I liked. But I have had no luck with the two male psychiatric nurses I have had from the longer term program.  

Have to give the group therapy another shot next week before I decide whether or not I want to continue with it or if it’s not for me. Hopefully next week will be better. 

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2 thoughts on “Psychologist appointment and group therapy.

  1. I am surpised how often you have your mom deal with your medical providers. Being an adult, it would be a good learning experience for you to take this responsibility on. Learning to communicate needs/wants/expectations is an important part of navigating the medical system. I wish you luck.

    • This is a very old post – written in 2013 not long after I had had to move back from dubai due to being very suicidal again and risk staying there after I’d nearly succeeded with an attempt in 2012. Since I was diagnosed at 17 (23 now) my mum or any family member has only very rarely been in any medical appt with me. I have pretty much completely taken control of it all since then, between diagnosis in 2011- 2013 when i moved back to England from dubai. I was traveling back from Dubai to England on my own to see my doctors every 3 months. I feel that this is a completely unfair assumption for you to make to be honest. My mum was only slightly involved in 2013 mainly due to me being so heavily medicated and severely depressed and suicidal that it was hard for me to function a lot of the time. My family are incredibly supportive and I discuss my medical care with them however I pretty much have always been in control and navigated it myself and even they would tell you that. My mum has to take me to appts now as I’m too sick to go on my own and am in a wheelchair at the minute, but she waits in the waiting room as we both know that works best for me and then I tell her all about the appt afterwards. I’m actually currently in hospital and have been for over 2 weeks, my consultant has never even met my mum and I have had to explain to him why that is the case. I know people far older than me who’s parents are way more involved than even mentioned in this blog post written when I was 19 years old, and there is nothing at all wrong with either method. I think what matters most is having a supportive family and navigating the medical system in whichever way works best for you, if that’s having your parents involved when you’re an young adult or older there is nothing wrong with that.

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