Tag Archives: psychiatry

About suicide hotlines: My thoughts

About suicide hotlines: My thoughts

some hotlines: Crisis text line 741741, National Suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255, Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860, Trevor Project for LNGTQ 866-488-7386

After a 9 year old that came out as gay to his friend and then killed himself, there has been an increase in sending out the suicide hotline numbers. While I know that sending out and calling does help people, there are other that feel too hopeless and alone, maybe feeling ashamed, maybe feeling no one will understand, and therefore won’t reach out.

One thing that is often said in hindsight of a suicide is why? Why didn’t I see the signs? But knowing the signs are not enough. Often when confronted, people with suicidal thoughts or maybe even planning a suicide, will deny it. It is a sensitive issue. A private issue. I know when my best friend told me at the age of 11 to seek help, my response was “I am not crazy”. With stigma, it is hard to approach someone who is suicidal. Often, there is the thought, no way this person is thinking of suicide, not my child, friend, co-worker, etc. They may deny it and say they don’t because it is against their religion or maybe the person who asks, frightens their friend or family member for fear of being stopped or if they do say yes, the person who asks responds with “don’t do something stupid” or “I will kill you if you do this”, which further alienates the suffering person. I’ve had this experience from two different people. I’ve never understood this logic. I still don’t.

My point of all this is people who are depressed ad suicidal need to feel safe in order to talk openly about their feelings. Often calling a hotline takes a lot of effort to even pick up the phone or dial the number. It is so scary because they are afraid they will be turned away and that holds people back. Or maybe they have phone anxiety like me. The Crisis Text Line is super for those people. But it is still scary to admit they are having suicidal feelings. They don’t know what will happen when they call or text.

In this case of this little boy who apparently was bullied, I don’t know if he would have had access to a phone to reach out and seek help. We often think those under the age of 10 cannot think about suicide but the numbers are growing. I know when I was eight I started having suicidal thoughts and made my first attempt at age 10. I didn’t tell anyone about this besides my best friend. He was probably sick of me talking about it so told me to reach out and then I shut down. I stopped talking about it but the thoughts were still there. When I was 12 I did reach out to Samaritans. I talked to a nice British speaking lady. I was very scared to call. I never had another good experience calling a hotline again. I was often rushed off the phone once I mentioned that I was suicidal.

About Therapists

About therapists

I have been thinking about writing this for a while, just an overview about the many therapists I have had from all different degrees and orientations. I started off seeing a school counselor. She was getting her degree in counseling, though I am not sure if it was as a school counselor or a social worker. We only saw each other for a few months and then when school started again, I started seeing a social worker that worked at another school. She was good. Had the idea that I shouldn’t use drugs or alcohol. We had a “safety contract”, which my first 10 or so did. It mostly said I wouldn’t kill myself until the next meeting and if I did feel like acting to go to the emergency room or call 911. I only saw her for about 10 months. She left and I saw someone new, a person who was also seeking their degree. I basically feel like she took advantage of me and was only interested in collecting my insurance. Nothing got worked on. I was hospitalized every three months, the last one was when I came out as “gay”. Transgender was never talked about with any therapist until the one I saw prior to my current therapist.

As I had state insurance, therapists were coming and going. By the 10th one, I was tired of them leaving so I left the system for private as I then had private insurance. Only problem was that this therapist didn’t take my insurance. When I switched in 2001, we saw each other for a month before my disc blew and then I didn’t see her again for another three months. We kept in touch by phone. It was a lot to go through. I didn’t talk about my psych issues as I just had my physical health jeopardized. We worked together for sixteen years. All throughout, I was suicidal. But I had the odd hospitalization because we worked on stabilizing using frequent contact. We saw each other sometimes three times a week when I was bad. Then we saw each other twice a week. She moved offices until she moved 30 miles away from Boston. It was tough because I didn’t have a car. I did but it broke down. We just had phone therapy. This went on for about five years. I would get a zipcar once a month to see her but that took some planning around my pain and weather.

The suicidal ideation I had made my therapist nervous. We tried different things, but she never consistently held me to them. I chided away from it because I knew what she was looking for or rather had an idea. I knew it wasn’t going to change. During the last year of therapy we had, we were constantly fighting over my suicidality. She just wasn’t listening to me anymore. I couldn’t explain why I was suicidal. I just mentioned it and she would “hog” the rest of the session with her endless talk, which I just took as her anxiety. It was interfering. I found out she was seeking consultation over me and I felt threatened by that. Eventually we just called it quits. I didn’t see anyone for few months. I had to collect myself. She gave me a few therapists but they weren’t taking on new clients.
Enter my current therapist. He had called back within a few hours of me leaving a message and we had set a time up with in a few days. He sent me his paperwork and other insurance stuff. All throughout seeing the previous therapist, we had tried different suicidal safety planning and scales and whatnots. This guy was not for it. I think the less paperwork, the better. And it bugs me! He just wants to talk things out. For the first six months I didn’t know if this was going to work out. But I had no where else to go. I was tired of searching for therapists only to be told no when I revealed I had a suicidal history. He wasn’t afraid of me talking about suicide and I ease up. Even when I told him I had a plan, he didn’t freak out on me. He understood why I felt that way and we talked it out. It decreased my feelings so I didn’t feel like no one was on my side. I often felt better after sessions but there were a few where I was more frustrated. I texted him a few times and got supportive responses, something my previous therapist did not do, at all. She only responded if we had to change appointment times.

I have been seeing this guy for 16 months. I still find it totally weird that we have an understanding of why I am suicidal yet there is no plan in place, so to speak. He is okay if I live and okay if I die, as long as I don’t do it in his office. He hasn’t taught me things I don’t already know. He would like me to be more social, but that is kind of hard with my physical pain. I like being alone anyway as noise can irritate me, like it is today. Hell, just being in Starbucks when their music is loud is enough to have me leave after I finish eating or when I am ready to write. He doesn’t try to pin things down and my biggest annoyance is when he says we will work on something but doesn’t go further than that. And then when I bring it up next session (I have to bring things up, he won’t), it still doesn’t go anywhere. But I have had that happen with the last therapist I saw, too. She would say we need to work on this and we never did.

I don’t mean to write this to defer you from seeking therapy, that isn’t my goal. I just wanted to write about my experiences with therapists and how they react to suicidal thoughts. Everyone is different. And maybe you started seeing a therapist and then the suicide thoughts started happening. The therapist freaks out and you are then forced to see someone else. Or you attempted and now the therapist doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That is sad and unfortunate but I know it does happen. Suicide is like an elephant (or hippo as someone called it that the other day) in the room that you both know is there but don’t want to face. Or maybe your therapist is trained and does work with you on the issues as long as there is a safety plan in place first with contact numbers and you collaborate on what will work and what will not work. The focus has to be on YOU not the therapist’s comfort level. While my therapist does that and gives me the time to try and work things out as well as support me in any way he can, I still sometimes feel like he just doesn’t get it or dropped the ball on an issue that is never going to see light of day again. I know they are busy people. They have lives outside the office. They see so many patients per day and then deal with the wonderful insurance that can or cannot accept their claims. I don’t know. I am not making excuses for them but if you have a therapist that cares about you and takes your suicidal thoughts seriously, works with you on keeping you safe, and the chronicity of the matter, great. I just am still trying to work with someone and cope with a therapist that says you can kill yourself as long as it isn’t in my office.

Swear post warning offensive language here in

Swear post warning offensive language here in

So about two hours ago, I was smelling something. Had no idea what the hell it was. I thought maybe a cord was burning, something was catching fire, checked all my wires and electrical stuff. Nothing. I go downstairs to see if my mother sprayed something, and it is coming from the hallway, or so I thought. I went back upstairs. The smell got worse. I decided to open the damn window, screw the storms. I shut the vent or opened it (no idea) on my AC. Then go downstairs again because I had to pee. I check on my mother as her sugar was low. She was fine and then I see the culprit. One of my sisters bought a Renuzit freshener thing that was pineapple and coconut. It was stinking up the house. I shut it, told my mother, put it in the kitchen, and then went back upstairs fucking swearing.

I was talking with my BFF about stuff. I asked if she was okay. She said she was but I knew she was stressed. I won’t go into it but I was glad she told me. I was getting sleepy so I told her goodnight and I will check in with her tomorrow. She said she hopes to sleep too. I lay down, and my fucking legs become stone and hurt like fucking hell. I sit up, take some magnesium as that is the only thing I can think of to calm it down. I shift my position, causing me to move my ankle. Dumb fucking move. I saw fucking stars. Still hurting so fucking bad. I waited, hoping it would settle down. It didn’t. BT med time! I start having anxiety. I am ready to call my fucking psychiatrist, but what the hell is she gonna do? It is fucking midnight. I hate this fucking shit.

All day I have been having body dysmorphia issues. I really hate my breasts. I want top surgery so damn bad. But because of my damn pain issues, I can’t have testosterone treatment, which is delaying the fucking top surgery consults and what not. If I had the money, they would be long gone! I would find a decent surgeon and be done with it. I hate my body. I hate myself more. I feel like I am a fucking idiot who should be fucking dead. My therapist said that it was reasonable that I am thinking about suicide. Who wouldn’t be if they were in my crummy shoes?

I have tried to get my head around it. Someone reported me, again, to Twitter about my talk about suicide. I have no idea what tweet it was as they didn’t tell me. If I did, I don’t remember it. I know I posted last Friday after my pain doc appt. But I don’t think I have posted anything this week. Unless the word itself, suicide, is what freaks people out and makes them report people. I don’t know. They are assholes. If they would talk to me, that would be okay. I don’t know. Sometimes I want to talk and other times, I get the concerned but I don’t know what to do with you people. And it is all fake sometimes. Pisses me off, like bother someone else with you fake sympathy or whatever bullshit you are giving me right now. I know what to do if my safety is in danger. Been down that road one too many times and don’t think that just because I talk about suicide that I don’t know the crisis number or the crisis text number or someone I can call if I feel like I am going to act on my thoughts/feelings. It’s as simple as that. Do I want to end my life, yes I do. Do I want to do it right this second? No. But the time will come when I have all my ducks in a row to execute my plan. I am working with my therapist to kind of break the cycle of overwhelm/end my life thoughts. But until then, I can still plan. It is an escape. You don’t believe me, do research.

I want the meds to work NOW. I don’t want to fucking wait. I am tired of waiting. I used to be a patient person. Now I am realizing being patient, means just that. You are a patient of some kind to someone. The pain doc, psychiatrist, physical therapist, etc. you have to wait to see them. And it fucking sucks. I am tired of waiting. I want treatment now. And dammit, if I don’t get treatment, I am going to die. Maybe not by the damn disease/condition I have, but by other means, which I don’t know exactly what they are. This dying this isn’t easy. Probably is if you have some lethal illness but not a chronic painful one.

I hate that I can’t move my damn ankle the way that it is suppose to move. It gets fucking upset with me. Going down the stairs or up the stairs aggravate it. My right ankle is sprained so it hurts because the tendons are swollen and stretched a little bit more than they are supposed to be. I also walked a lot today. And went up and down the stairs a lot to find out what that fucking smell was that was irritating my respiratory system. Set off my allergies big time. I am sending them a text tomorrow and put it in all caps. That will tell them how fucking pissed off I am. Assholes. I don’t know which sister it was, most likely the middle one but I can’t be sure. They will definitely hear about it later today.

pained and pissed off

Pained and pissed off

I didn’t go to sleep till 0700. I woke up around 1000. I sorted out my meds and as there was a threat of increased pollen, I took an extra Allegra. I then made breakfast and coffee. I was so sleepy after the coffee that I decided to take a nap. My foot exploded a few minutes after my head hit the pillow. I was so fricken mad.

I tried to calm down so I took some more Ativan and Neurontin. I usually don’t take Neurontin during the day but I wanted to fricken sleep. I had emailed my psychiatrist around 0230. She responded and asked if I can come in on Monday. I told her it would be hard as I have PT in the morning but she had a time that suited when I could get to Boston so I said okay. I really thought today was Sunday all day. I kept having to look at my phone to see that it was Saturday. I am so off from not sleeping.

I was able to fall asleep around 1400. I slept for another 3.5 hours. I was hungry so made a burger. My sister is going to have a dinner for tomorrow so I will try and grill the steak that I have. I asked her to show me how to operate it. She didn’t have time today as she was going out.

The highlight of my day was having my little 5 month old cousin come over. She is such a cutie. She kept crying every time I talked to her so I let her be. She stopped crying when I walked away. HAHA. I came down after I finished my tea because I wanted a pic of her. I snuck it as her mother doesn’t want pics. I am not going to post it but I wanted to show my friend how cute she is (not on social media). I played with her and she was “talking”. Just kind of loud stuff, like she was boss. It was funny. I love her so much.

I came back upstairs and some troll on Twitter responded to a message I had posted at god knows what hour. It was from like 1 am or so. We exchanged a few messages and then I blocked him as he was a troll. He said he was using his friend’s phone to use Twitter. Ya, you are a troll if you do that. Idiot. I am trying to stay awake but my fucking foot feels like it is being sliced open. I didn’t have a number 2 today. I am upset about this because I need to keep track of it. I don’t remember if I went yesterday or not. I think I did but I don’t remember. I am kind of in a fog so my memory isn’t great. I will take some fiber pills with my night meds and just continue to take them until I go. I will take Miralax if I need to.

I had take my blood pressure around 4 am just to see what it was. Damn batteries were dead so I had to find new ones. I found them and put them in. Then took it. It was high on both wrists. Pulse was 91, a little fast. I took it when I woke up this morning and it was a much better number. I am going to keep track of it every day in one of my notebooks. My PCP wants to compare the office visit BP to my home BP readings.

I am kind of scared of meeting with my psych on Monday. If I am cool and collected, I don’t think anything will happen. I honestly don’t know what I said in the email. I know I told her about my mother’s upcoming surgery. What I said after that, I am not sure. I know I was pissed I didn’t end my life yesterday because I was in so much damn pain. I got to get through the to the damn pain clinic that the damn dose is not adequate for flares. I need something that will cover me and the breakthrough meds are not doing that. I am having severe pain, just by moving my foot or sometimes, not even moving my foot. It just explodes while I am on the bed, not doing anything. I can’t stand it. I hate, fucking absolutely hate, not being heard and this pain doc and fellow just does not listen!! They have their own idea of what is wrong and how to treat it and that is that. No intervention or input from the patient. What kind of care is that? Paternalistic! I hate it very much. My former PCP allowed collaboration and things. We might not have agreed on some things but at least we talked about it rather than him saying this is what we are doing end of story. I wish I still had him. I know he would be attacking my weight issues, which would be stressing me out, but at least I could count on him to help control my pain. I don’t think those kind of docs exist anymore.

day 5 and a flare

Day 5 and a flare (warning, long post)

Last night, I had to go to the bathroom kind of late, around 2300 or so. I was also hungry so went downstairs. I must have went down four steps and my ankle went out on me. It became really painful. I stopped and hung on the bannister to prevent falling. Pain subsided a little and I went down a few more steps only for it to happen again. Shit. I held on again to the bannister and waited for my ankle to calm down a bit. I knew the downward motion of my ankle was causing it to get annoyed. I finally went down the rest of the stairs and did my business.

When I came back up to my room, my ankle felt okay. The game was late as it was on the west coast and I couldn’t stay up as I needed to be up at 6. Around midnight, I turned in, or tried to. My body pillow was a mess and was not making me comfortable. I must have flung it off the bed as when I came up to my room today, the whole side of it was on the floor. It collected all the dust that surrounded it. Great. I used a lint roller to get it off. I just decided to use a regular pillow and somehow fell asleep. I woke up about three hours later in pain. It was too early to take the 12 hr pill so I took the immediate release. Two hours later I was still in pain so took the longer acting med. I was early but oh well. I then slept for about an hour until my alarm went off.

I took my morning meds and then went downstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face. I was deciding on what to wear. I thought I could wear shorts but it was too cold and it was kind of rainy. I decided sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt were in order. Except, I couldn’t find the one I wanted to wear. I scrounged my bed and it was nowhere. Oh well, just go with the one I usually sleep in. I left to catch the bus. As I got to the corner, the bus I was to take rolled by. Luckily, another one soon followed so I didn’t have to wait long.

I brought my Dostoevsky book with me. I had 45 minutes before PT. I got coffee at the lower end coffee shop and a coffee roll. When I finished the roll, I got to reading until it was time to leave for PT. PT was not so great. She gave me a few new exercises but I think I am going to have trouble doing it on my left side due to moving my damn ankle/foot. I might have to wear the AFO (ankle foot orthotic) to keep it stable. We just did the right side and she explained what muscles were moving. Then she massaged my hip. She said my muscles were hard as a rock. I said like a tennis ball and she said yes. Some parts of where she was touching was bothersome to my thigh muscle. I had to remind her that my L2/L3 surgery fucked it up. We talked about the PTSD and stuff that surrounded my pain issues and she offered some concrete grounding techniques which I will try as the ones I were using were not working. I chiefly use distraction and music. She had me laying on my back under some kind of box thing. As we were ending, she moved my knee to my chest and my back cramped up badly. It hurt so much. I was able to walk out of there but I was hurting. I came home because my next appointment wasn’t until 1500. I made a fried egg that I kind of overcooked the yolk. Then I went upstairs and was hoping to catch a nap. Well my ankle said no to that soon as I laid down. I left an hour early than I wanted to. I went to Starbucks for espresso and a Danish.

I read my book as I brought that with me. I was going to get some serious reading done. But my god, did Dostoevsky talk and talk and talk. It was about 4 chapters of the prosecutor giving his closing argument. When he was finished, so was I. I have about 8 chapters left in the book and I should be able to finish the book this weekend. Progress. I promised one of my suicidologists that I would read her book so I will. It should be somewhat easy reading once I remember where I put it. HA. Don’t know if it is buried on my bed or I put it somewhere else.

I went to my psychiatrist appt. I gave her the run down of being hypomanic without euphoria and the cycle I seem to be in. She didn’t read anything I sent her but she said she would read it as she always does. I felt kind of deflated because I really wanted to talk about the article I sent her. I couldn’t bring it up if she didn’t read it. I actually was not really present. I just glossed over things and she accepted it. I told her my therapist wanted to meet with me twice a week but I am not sure if I can do it physically, especially with physical therapy sessions going on as well. I had told him I would think about it and get back to him. She thought it was good to be seen twice a week. Then we made an appt for two weeks and I left.

My ankle was kind of giving me grief but it wasn’t bad until I got within two blocks of home. Before the Walgreens by my house, there is this dead end street that leads to some houses. The sidewalk has a little handicapped ramp that, to me, is very inclined. I walked down it and it brought me almost to my knees. Pain was so fricken bad. I had to stand in place until it settle down. It was the same as last night when I was going down the stairs but 10 times worse. I didn’t know what to do. My sister was away (or so I thought) and there wasn’t anyone else I could call for a ride. I took my blessed time limping home. The block that lead to the final block to my street was hilly and downward. OMG did it hurt to walk downhill. I had to stop a few times to catch myself. I finally made it home and my sister’s apartment door was wide open as well as my door. I called for my niece but there was no answer. I stuck my head in my sister’s apartment and called for her again. My sister was home making dinner. My other sister was there as well eating some kind of cheese plate. I had some cheese and pepperoni and chatted with my sisters. I then went upstairs. I took my things up the stairs carefully. I took a seat in the kitchen and my ankle just went berserk. I had no idea how I was going to walk down the hallway to my room. I was in a serious flare. I have been on the new med for five fucking days. I have no idea if CRPS doesn’t care if you take meds or not. I posted the question in my support group. I am still waiting for an answer or support. I had to take the med when I finally got to my room. It was two hours early but I didn’t care. After I made dinner with a boot on, my ankle still flared again. I took the breakthrough med. It is going to be a long night and I have been up for 15 hours so far. I cried in pain while I was in the kitchen. My mother was oblivious.

I don’t know what to do to make this pain go the fuck away. I thought the new meds would work and they did for a bit. Until I walked that handicap ramp, which I will never fucking do again. I wish I could say the same of the stupid stairs but I live in a two floor house so that isn’t possible. Even wearing the boot didn’t help. More than a few weeks till my date. I wasn’t going to go through with it. But I change my mind. I could still change it, again. I haven’t told anyone about this because people keep saying they need me and that makes me feel guilty. Someone also reminded me of the ripple effect and I told her to stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear it. I just want to be left alone in my misery that no one understands. I am so done with explaining about how suicidal I am and not getting any understanding about it. Not that I want support for it. That would be ridiculous. But to know at least where I am coming from rather than have supposed opinions. I just have become callous to anyone that thinks they know me.

I did ask my psychiatrist if she thought I was “treatable”. She said yes. But that is all she said without any elaboration. I am in too much pain, both mentally and physically, to tell her what I am thinking. I am also afraid of telling her what I am thinking for fear of another hospitalization. I won’t go this time, not unless I make an attempt. That is the only way I will go back. I just hope to be successful. Things will be really bad if I don’t succeed. I am scared though. I’ve never tried this method before. And if I don’t get it right on the first try, I am kind of screwed. I am just messed up.