Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mental health: What about the children?

What must it feel like to see your mum break down in tears for no apparent reason in the middle of a public place in a city you don't know?

What must it feel like to have your usually fun mum constantly say to you "get off me", "get away from me", "stop harassing me", "leave me alone", when all you want as a little four year old is to get closer and try to help?

I try to be conscious of my mood swings and how they might be affecting Noo, both now and the ramifications of the indelible mark they could make on him into the future. Sometimes, actually a lot of the time lately, it is too hard to control: I just burst into tears or scream for him to get off me!

The photo above seems highly narcissistic (don't all selfies?), but whatever. It is taken in a shopping centre in Melbourne where Noo and I managed to get a doctor's appointment because I could feel myself on the brink of a massive public breakdown. I had tears in my eyes as I asked the receptionist for an appointment. I took the photo to check my makeup hadn't smudged too much. Thank fuck for good quality cosmetics!

We had to wait one hour for the appointment. We killed a little time in Big W downstairs and then came back to the waiting room of the large medical centre. Noo was playing nice and quietly until another boy came by and wanted to play with him. All fine except the other little boy was quite boisterous, and despite me asking both kids to quieten down the other kid continued to be rowdy in the area where sick people were waiting to be seen. It wasn't until the office manager of the surgery came out and told the boys off that they calmed down a bit.

With this whole scene unfolding my anxiety levels were rising. The mother of the other kid made absolutely no attempt to quieten her child down. Her kid was about seven years old to Noo's four and should have known better. My heart raced as I desperately looked around begging some imaginary god in my head that my name would be called so we could get the fuck out of there before I lost it completely.

Finally, it was my turn but Noo didn't want to leave the boy he was having so much fun with. I made such a display using my sternest voice and firmly announced "MOVE!" to Noo who must have seen the anger/fear/crazy in my eyes and the floodgates opened for all to see.

To cut a long story short the GP I'd never seen before called my GP in Sydney who gave permission for low dose Valium to use at extreme times. They've helped but are not a long term solution.

I want to get away from my life. Be free of responsibility, of being needed. I want someone else to make decisions for me.

The swings have become quite cyclic. Every day begins with me waking up from a night of bad dreams that linger. I feel anxious yet tired. I'm still drinking coffee first thing in the morning yet I'm starting to wonder if I should cut back to help with my jittery soul. By the afternoon, I'm so low and start crying at the smallest of triggers and then by evening I can be up again but oh so sleepy by 11pm.

Today I couldn't get out of bed until 12.30pm. I'd risen earlier to do the usual trip to the loo, coffee, breakfast and then I read Mumabulous' post here and did a massive word vomit all over her comments section. After that I had to just walk away from the computer, lay down and sleep. Mum played with Noo who pretended to be Mala because he was worried Nanna was missing her other grandchild.

We are still in Melbourne and I'm really starting to wish it was time to come home. I crave familiar surroundings. It has been six weeks since the first really noticeable cracks in my psyche appeared. Six weeks of ups, downs and sideways are taking their toll on me. Changing my meds around has really fucked me up as well. I really don't know whether I'm here or there, Arthur or Martha, up or down... Can someone pass me the cliches please?

I've also lost interest in so much; I'm numb. A classic depression symptom is having little interest in the things that usually would stimulate you. I don't give a shit about anything and then I get so worked up about the most minute of issues. For the first time in well over a year I don't even give a shit about this blog. This place of my creation that I loved so much. What the fuck is wrong with me? What am I going to do?

Mum asked me this morning if I thought I should go back into hospital for a little while for a "rest". That way my psychiatrist could monitor me more closely and we could sort out this medication issue. But do I really want to go back there? It can be so draining being with other psych patients day and night. (FYI, I'm not dissing in patient peeps, but you know what I mean! I'm surprised my numbers are not down to zero on this blog!) On one hand the in patient support is great and you don't feel alone but sometimes it can drag you down further. Sitting around talking about what our diagnoses are and what meds we're on is fucking boring. And depressing.

My sister asked me yesterday if they should start looking for a back up nanny for Mala on the days I have her. I was feeling better at the time of that conversation and said no, I'll be fine, I love looking after Moo. Today I'm not so sure.

How will Noo feel about me being in hospital? His Nan and Pa will of course take good care of him but he'll miss me and I'll miss him. Would being in hospital even help?

I wish I could go to a health retreat in a beautiful location where they wean you off all your meds (including sugar and technology), and then nurse you back to health with long baths, massages and delicious wholesome food and exercise (with hot instructors of course)!

But mostly I just wish this awful mental health episode was over and I could go back to being the fun, loving mum I've always been.


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