MY JOURNEY TO MY DIAGNOSIS: PART 1

When I was  a kid, one of my relatives had a hard time after the break-up and was hospitalized. People made fun of him and told that how a person can be so weak. That real man won’t cry over a break-up. I live in a very small country, so everyone knows everyone and there were a lot of stigmas about mental health problems. Psychiatric hospitals were called “the madhouse”. Mental illness was like a plaque. 

This was a time when kids were always around grown-ups and could listen to their discussion. Grown-ups shared their “news” – actually it was just an ugly gossip about other people. Often it was something like that: Do you know that X “has something wrong with thinking” and now he/she is eating some pills. Other one replied: Oh, I heard that those pills aren’t helping, that they actually make things worse and it is not normal to take pills, that people should be stronger and manage without them. Then the first one said: He/she also goes to the psychologist. Other one said: OMG – how he/she even dares to talk about problems to some stranger, it is not good to talk about private life, because soon everyone will know.

I started to have serious mental health problems in 2011. My partner and my best friend suggested that I go to the psychiatrist. I didn’t want to go, because I didn’t want to be labelled as “crazy” and eating some pills was totally out of the question. I went so they would leave me alone. I wasn’t honest with my doctor and lied in the tests. I told her that I had a hard time, because I felt that my partner and best friend weren’t supportive enough when I told them about my problems. She said that it is not actually their duty. That it may be hard for friends and relatives and that’s why there are psychiatrists and psychologists. She said that according to my tests I am fine, but if I feel depressed, she can prescribe me antidepressants. I said that I don’t want those right now. 

I told my partner and my best friend that I was fine and tried to keep my problems to myself. When things were too bad, then I exploded and I had fights with them as well. I became very upset, because I felt totally alone. I thought that they should support me more – that it was their choice to be my partner and friend and then they have to be there for me, no matter what. Sometimes I made a call to the “madhouse”. It was usually in the middle of the night, but on the homepage it was said that it is open 24 hours. It was near my home, so I thought I would go there and talk with them, but they said that it is better to come in the morning. By the morning I was already calmer and decided not to go. 

I had a really hard time in my life in the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. At the end of February 2016 I was in a really bad place, I became depressed. I had a new relationship, we had been together for about three months. He broke up with me, because I refused to go to the doctor to seek help and so our relationship was too toxic for him. I felt really upset. I threatened to kill myself, said to him that I’m already near a river and then stopped taking his calls. I sat for a while and then started walking home. On my way home the police stopped me and asked my name. They said that they got a call that I am suicidal. I said that I’m fine and wanted to go home.

When they asked me to sit in their car and have a chat, I said that I didn’t want to and started walking away. I thought of running away but then I noticed that another car came and I didn’t want to make things worse, so I went to their car. My previous boyfriend lived near there, we had been together over 4 years and broken up only for a few months. I messaged him to come help me. He knew me well and had a lot of experience with me threatening to kill myself and knew I wouldn’t do it. 

He came and told them that I am fine and he can take me home and take care of me – because I messaged him and asked him to say so. But the police said that they have protocol. There was also an ambulance, they checked my vitals and then police said that there is one more place where we have to go. They didn’t say where. I was taken to the “madhouse”. I went to the doctor with my ex because I was afraid that I would be hospitalized. I said that I was just upset and I am fine now and want to go home. My ex told her that he can take care of me. Doctor gave me some mild tranquilizers, said that if I feel upset, then I can take those and we scheduled an appointment in one week, because I realized I really need help. 

Police gave me a ride home and asked me not to do such stupid thing ever again. That I should think of other people before I make such serious threats, that it is not easy for them.  That it wasted their time and ambulance time and maybe some person who really needed help, didn’t get it. It was harsh but they were right. I felt so ashamed of myself. My ex was really mad as well, he told how he felt all those times when I was threatening to kill myself and that he feels sorry for the other guy. He has also had enough of my drama and it was the last time he helped me, that next time I feel bad, then I should go to “the madhouse” and let doctors help me and said that he wouldn’t take my calls anymore. 

This guy who broke up with me called and said that if I want, he could meet me. I said yes, but actually it wasn’t good for me. It gave me hope that he wants to make up with me, but he didn’t. I was more upset after it and asked him to take me to my best friend’s house. It was in the middle of the night. I don’t even remember being there and what happened, but I knew I felt bad after the visit, because I felt it was hard for my best friend. 

I went home, but was too upset to go to school. Missing classes wasn’t really allowed, because it was the last semester and those were important classes. I thought that missing one day would be fine. But then came the next day and I couldn’t go. I felt so bad, because I realized how much I have hurt people in the past, because there were other people besides my ex and best friend, who had experiences with my behaviour. I felt that the psychiatrist’s appointment was too far. I wanted to go back to the “madhouse”, to get an emergency appointment. I didn’t want to go alone, I was too afraid. I called my ex, he was still mad and didn’t want anything to do with me, but he agreed to come. I was too upset to talk to the psychiatrist, so he talked instead of me. They offered inpatient treatment for me and I agreed, because I felt that I was a danger to myself. 

The story about my first experience with inpatient treatment will come in another post. I won’t make any promises about the time it comes, because I don’t know. It is hard to write about the past, because I don’t remember everything and English isn’t my native language, so it is hard to find the right terms. I think there will be some other posts before the next part about my present life. 

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