How to reach out - for real?
Hey everyone 🙂 I hope you're all doing well
So I've been struggling with anxiety/depression for a while and I've been going to a therapist and on medication for five years this year. It's good and it helped at first, but I've definitely become sorta stagnant with my progress and now things are regressing.
Ive been in and out of severe depressive episodes since the end of 2019 and it's never entirely gone back to normal. At this point I've pretty much lost hope. I've been on and off suicidal for a couple years and I usually play it down when talking to people so as not to worry them.
I've been told I likely am on the spectrum and have been screened for OCD and been told it's a high possibility, but no one is helpful. I've been two three psychiatrists and three psychologists and they've never taken the time to properly diagnose me with anything other than anxiety and gender incongruence. And even to get that took months and like five psychiatrist visits.
I cannot go back to school. I cannot. I'm supposed to in a couple of days but I will just dissociate and become severely depressed again and I know that.
I want to go to a psych ward for a couple weeks and see if it helps. I've read about it and I have friends who have been and really benefited from it, but my parents are really opposed to the idea. I think they think of mental asylums from the 1900s when they hear 'psych ward' rather than like proper therapy. And by asking to go to a psych ward, I feel like I'm overexaggerating or just looking for attention. I want a doctor to like suggest it naturally or something, but the only way I think they would is if I told them how serious I am feeling suicidal at times and I'm really bad at talking about that stuff.
Anyway, any suggestions?
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members.
We hope that you can appreciate the perseverance and strength you have shown, to have gotten this far in your journey. We just want to reassure you that feeling as though your progression has become stagnant is ‘normal’. Your depression is not something that is treated and disappears, it is a journey of recovery, with up and downs, progressions, and stagnation along the way. What is important is remembering to see all the positives you have accomplished and to use those as motivation to get though the harder moments.
We can hear from your post that you have been managing your suicidal thoughts and we are so pleased you have reached out to the community for support. It is great that you have engaged with multiple professionals, we’re sorry you feel this has not worked out so far. Finding a psychiatrist that you trust and feel listens to you can be difficult, but we encourage you to keep seeking that therapeutic relationship.
School can be overwhelming and stressful at the best of times, to combine this with your current feelings of depression and we can understand your reluctance to return after the school break. Have you discussed these feelings with your school counsellor or administration? Have you discussed these fears and your desire for hospitalization and treatment with your family? Seeking help and treatment, either in the community or in hospital is not attention seeking and we would always encourage you to seek out mental health services, if you feel they are needed.
There is a recent thread that we believe would have some information of assistance: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression/can-i-go-to-a-mental-hospital-#UA...
We would also like to encourage you to reach out, it can really help having someone to talk to when these negative thoughts arise, we recommend contacting the Beyond Blue counselling team. By engaging via phone or chat the counsellors can provide advice and support, please contact either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
Kid’s helpline is also a great service to contact for counselling or just to have a conversation about your concerns. They are available to anyone aged 25 or under, you can call them on 1800 55 1800 or at https://kidshelpline.com.au/ .
Alternatively we would also recommend the suicide call back service, they offer a range of contact methods that can be accessed via https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/ or by giving them a call on 1300 659 467.
If at any point those thoughts of suicide become overwhelming, or you no longer feel safe we urge you to contact emergency services on 000.
We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community.
I'd like to join Sophie_M in welcoming you here to the Forum. It is a good place to come to as you will be taken seriously and people here do understand.
Actually I'm glad you have already met Sophie as she gives pretty good advice -particularly the Kids Help Line who are very experienced and sensible, plus not alarmist. They can be a comfort as can the other places Sophie mentioned.
It is very disheartening to go for so long without getting the right treatment and even more to go to so many professionals and have them miss the point. It is a pity you don't have parents that really understand what it's like inside you.
I guess we have something in common, I too downplayed the seriousness of how suicidal I was, even attempted to take my life, but managed to hide those occasions from everyone (my circumstances were a bit different to yours).
Looking back I think this was definitely a mistake, though at the time I did not feel I could tell anyone. So things got worse.
Eventually I did talk about it, and it was only at that stage that I was properly diagnosed and started to improve. It took time, and I guess I was lucky in the particular GP and psych I had at the time were pretty good at their jobs. Plus then they had the actual facts to treat, not a watered down version.
Now I'm streets better, I lead a pretty good and enjoyable life.
I think you are right, unless you do open up and talk about your suicidal thoughts things may stay much the same -at least for now, and with school coming up maybe it is a good time to act
I know you said you were bad at talking about this, which certainly reminds me of me. Can I make a suggestion?
I've found that taking a couple of days to write down exactly how I felt, not skipping out on the hard parts but actually putting in all the hard to say details, has been a great help both to me and the person treating me.
It means in a session I don't have to explain anything, but just answer questions after handing the paper over (plus it is too late to chicken out on the frightening or embarrassing bits 😞
Answering questions was far easier for me than starting from scratch - it was surprising
The psych or doctor gets a list of things to treat (point form is good) and cannot ignore anything.
Do you think this is something you can do?
Just in passing I'll mention that while it is not for everyone I found hospital helped.
I'd be really pleased if you came back and we talked some more.
Hey Croix 🙂
Thanks for the reply. It's comforting to know other people have been in similar situations. I've written down bits and pieces of how I feel but I might try and put it all together and show it to a doctor. I think the reason I water down how I feel is that it's difficult to say it, like physically getting the word 'suicide' out of my mouth is so difficult. Maybe because I don't want it to seem like I'm overreacting, and I don't want to worry my family.
I'll try writing a list, thank you. I have an appointment with a doctor soon and I don't want it to go to waste.
Thank you 🙂
I'm glad it made sense, I guess if one can learn from the mistakes of others that's pretty sensible.
When I wrote the stuff down I was pretty graphic, and included how I planned to go about things. I can't say I did it to get attention or was overreacting. I just needed to get out of the dark place I was in and the thoughts I had and that's how it was accepted
I agree it is a hard note to write, and there is a strong temptation to water things down or avoid stuff. The problem is if I'd done that I'd have been no further forward -and neither would the people trying to treat me.
If you don't like to write the word 'suicide' then please write something equally strong, I said "kill myself".
The whole idea is your life gets better - like mine
In fact they took it seriosly
Thank you for sharing.
I strongly encourage you to take the option you suggested - a couple of weeks in the psych ward will keep you safe and let you process how you are feeling in a safe environment.
The fact your parents are so closed minded is even more reason to go for YOUR health and future.
My parents tried to stop me (and belittled me for being weak, toughen up etc) and I've been 4 times and each time I felt much better and whilst it didn't ultimately work first time, I genuinely feel the acceptance of my issues saved my life.
It helps you grow around others that truly understand how you feel.
Whatever you choose I wish you the best.