Am I having a mental health crisis?

 

Over the past few days I’ve started and deleted several emails, blog posts and so forth. There’s a lot happening, and I don’t seem to be winning any of the battles I’ve been facing, and I’ve certainly not been able to ask anyone for help. I’ve found myself, multiple times, phone in hand, mind blurry and desperately trying to figure out whether or not to phone the crisis number I was given by my community mental health team (CMHT). The only problem is, I genuinely don’t know if what I’m going through is ‘good’ enough (severe enough) for me to phone my crisis team.

a lot of things
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Sunday night was pretty awful, and I’m definitely not sure how I managed to get into work Monday morning, add a pretty horrid migraine to the mix – the type that painkillers doesn’t even knock – and I was definitely, somehow, floating through work. The thoughts and feelings I experienced on Sunday didn’t pop up out of nowhere, I think I’ve been struggling for a while – Sunday just felt like the moment of explosion. I’d tried (and failed miserably) to subtly let people know I was struggling, I just didn’t have the energy – or understanding – to articulate exactly what I was feeling and, most importantly, what I needed.

I know I need time off, but I’m not sure I want to be alone with my thoughts right now, and thankfully work is quite busy at the moment, so I have something to dive into (somewhere to escape). I’ve experienced some very dark times before, so I know – for the most part – my limits, and my points of no return, but I always find it very overwhelming when I seem to lose all control of my mind, my coping strategies and my perception. I take out my emotions on my body – whether through (gulp) self-harm, which is something I don’t, if at all, blog about, along with binge-eatingΒ and purging (double gulp).

I haven’t had the courage to ask for help, not even from those who have helped me in the past. I’ve successfully managed to talk myself out of every possible scenario of me asking for help, and I’ve never felt more alone. I don’t think my crisis is crisis enough for my crisis team, and I don’t want to burden those who I used to ask for help, as I haven’t reached out to them in a while. My support circle, something which I know is strong, suddenly feels very empty, and I feel very vulnerable.

When I’m at work I switch back into ‘be normal’ mode, but I’m exhausted, grumpy and I keep finding ways to avoid acknowledging what’s happening. I’ve been too afraid to phone my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN), or the duty worker, and I’ve felt too inadequate to phone the crisis number, so I’ve just been stuck, hating myself, hating life and just stuck.

It scares me how easy it is to withdraw myself from life, and hide away from the world.Β 

 

 

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14 comments

  1. Hey Ella. You are a courageous woman. It’s hard to keep sight of this when as you say it feels as though we cannot reach out. BUT let me help you see the bigger picture, while you’ve lost sight of it a little for now. You DID reach out and here you are again reaching out. You reached out on Twitter and you said – ‘it’s hard to reach for support right now’ – and then people responded to you, and then you responded to them, and here you are in a conversation with us all again – not withdrawn – in conversation – reflecting on how hard it is (for us all) to ask for help when we need it most. So Ella yes it is hard, and you help others by acknowlegding that – but you also reach out – you keep reaching out – that is what you do πŸ™‚ Btw, I had a bit of a tough day yesterday and today – and I managed to reach out a bit about it – but sometimes I find – do you find this too – that just being in contact – like you say about your work – just ordinary level ticking along – can also help on difficult days – especially stopping the spiralling – I made about a thousand cups of virtual tea for Tweeps and it cheered me up. It can be the little things too, the little reaches – don’t forget how many of those you do all the time.

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    • Hello πŸ™‚ I definitely find that Twitter helps me acknowledge that I’m struggling, and it’s definitely a way for me to reach out! Everyone on Twitter (and here), including you, help to keep me moving and doing things (even though tweeting might be, in some people’s eyes, not actually doing anything – I find tweeting helps me reach out and find ways to try and articulate what I’m feeling). Though I do of course edit things out.

      I completely agree that ordinary level ticking along helps on difficult days – it gives me something to do, even if I’m not fully committed to doing work and so forth, getting me out of the house and preoccupying my mind DEFINITELY slows down (stops) the spiralling. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling, I wish you all the best! Xx

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  2. I’m OK – nothing major – just some stressful events – using it as an example of the kinds of ways we reach that’s all. And a crisis is a crisis – a crisis simply means that our resources and coping mechanisms that might work for us some of the time, are not working for us right now. And that sounds a lot like what you are describing – a crisis – the kind that a crisis team might like the opportunity to support you with – given that they deal in crises n all. Just sayin’ πŸ™‚

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  3. Hugs and smile. Yeah, I guess that’s possible. πŸ˜‰ How about an experiment. Ring them up see if they say that, then tell us. Can’t say it’s been my most typical experience of responses when working in mental health contexts, or when reaching out to others when in crisis, tho I have believed it often enough myself Lol and it does happen I’m not going to pretend that no-one ever dismisses, people do, sometimes not with words, but with tone. I guess what we mostly need in crisis is to be connected back up again with our resources, like buoyed up a little for a while. In my most difficult days and weeks over the last year, continuity felt really important, that i was kind of known and held in mind in the bigger picture, when I was losing track of that and of my resources. Hugs again.

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    • I will phone them today as I’m still really struggling, and I definitely need to just have a long chat (basically, I need to be supported haha!) It’s always been complicated because when I was a student at my uni if I was really struggling I could go and talk to the mental health team there, but now I’m trying to make myself only use my Community Mental Health Team, but apparently that doesn’t seem to be going too well for me haha! Thanks for the virtual listening ear! πŸ™‚

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  4. Hi there. I have my struggles too but try to remember that people choose to work in mental healthcare because they want to listen and help. It’s just that they sometimes need to be reminded of that. Everyone has their good and bad days, sharing how we feel can get us through. Simon

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely no crisis is too small to ask for help. We all perceive things and deal with things in different ways. We also all have our limits. No issues is too small. Especially if it pushes you to your limits. Use your resources. Let them be a blessing for you. If they are true they won’t be burdened or shrug you off. I speak as someone who also deals a lot with anxiety, self harm, and depression. If you feel it’s too large to handle don’t wait. Reach out. Sending you positive vibes and hugs even though you have no idea who I am lol. Hoping for the best for you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank-you for this lovely comment, it’s very inspirational for me! I guess it’s just trying to remind myself that my limits are my limits, and that’s it’s okay for me to ask for support when I need to! Though the support I received from people through this blog (you included) has been pretty phenomenal!! Xx

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  6. Just remember that the crisis teams are people who went into a caring profession. They wouldn’t belittle your experience & they might be able to give you some help. I totally resonate with the feeling of needing time, but also knowing that being alone with your thoughts isn’t always good either. Please reach out… You can do it, and you deserve support. Mental illness is hard, but you will get out of this xxx

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