Friday, August 01, 2008

My New Disclaimer.

If you are feeling suicidal please reach out. Suicide removes all your options. Please call 911, local crisis line, family doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, or tell a close family member or friend. No one should go through struggles with depression or any other mental illness alone. We all deserve to have the support and help we need.

This post expresses some of my experiences with those thoughts and how I have survived them. If you want to see more of how I have felt and survived click on the side labels "suicide", and "suicidal thoughts". I don't have any answers, except for one...If they are good listeners, a great caring therapist, or psyciatrist can protect you from yourself in so many ways. This sight is proof of that.

I did not really want to put a disclaimer on my site. Recently however, an increasing number of people are Googling " I want to die", or I wish I would die" and ending up at my blog. I do not want to stop writing how I feel, or soften how I express myself. I want to write authentically. I find writing this way to be extremely cathartic. However, I worry for these people.

I hope if you show up here and read about my wanting to die you read more of my blog than just the posts that express my often obsessive thoughts and feelings of suicide. My wish for anyone struggling with these thoughts is that you discover a couple things on my blog:
  • One: I really want my site to reflect the difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, often downright awful and at times; the questionably unsurvivable experiences I have with my treatment resistant depression. I want people to know they are not the only ones having these thoughts.
  • Two: I want people to see that if there is hope for me, there is hope for anyone. My illness has lead me to meet my psychiatrist Dr. X. . I want this site to show how help from a knowledgeable, supportive and compassionate Dr. and/or therapist can be a life changing and rewarding experience; not just for the medication help, but also having someone to help you survive the times life does not seem to be worth living.
I am not saying life is perfect for me. If you read my blog on a regular basis you will notice I struggle so much to keep trying sometimes. Ultimately though, having a pdoc and therapist I trust and can count on has helped me take chances and try things I never thought possible; things like learning to draw, participating in art classes, teaching art classes(still cannot believe this one), developing art classes, learning to paint, picking up my guitar again after a 20 year hiatus. With the help of someone I have learned is trustworthy and honest, kind and happy to be around me no matter how I feel, I am slowly uncovering and discovering the person want to be.

I am still really depressed, still anxious, still have many days where I don't think I can continue trying, but I have good help and I know it. That keeps me trying and subsequently continuing to grow into a new me. The me I want to be. The life that IS worth living.

You may not click with the first psychiatrist or therapist you meet. I didn't. I tried many, many different therapists before I finally met the right one. Keep trying if you do not like who you see.

A doctor once told me to get on the list of every psychiatrist who had patient openings. See them once or a couple times. The first meetings with a psychiatrist or therapist are as much for you to interview them, for you to see whether they are a good fit for you; as the interview is for them to begin understand you. If they don't get! I saw that (sort of) jokingly, but I have found much of the reason I am able to be open and honest with my pdoc; about suicide, or bizarre thoughts, or plans, is we ALWAYS make decisions together.

We are like a team working together to help me feel better. He treats me like a colleague. That to me represents a very powerful, patient focused therapeutic alliance. I am not saying he would not hospitalize me against my will if I became unable to participate in the decision making process.

I would hope, and trust that he would. It means we have built a relationship based on shared decision making, which has built my trust in him. Given the way we have worked together I am absolutely certain he would help me participate in the decisions I am able to make, given the state of my abilities to decide for myself. I trust he would do what was right for me and include me as much as possible in any and all decisions.

When trying to find someone to help you recognize there are lots of people we meet in our lives who we don't like for one reason or another; psychiatrists and therapists are no different. Some people we feel okay around and some we don't. If you do not like the pdoc or therapist you are with keep searching for someone else until you feel you have met a good fit for you and your needs. The search will be worth it in more ways than one.

It may be that you are so suicidal or ill right now that you are unable to take the time to search for the "right" psychiatrist. If that is the case please reach out for crisis help, either via the crisis line in your area, or the 911 emergency number, or take yourself or get someone to take you to emergency room at the hospital. This will allow you to be safe for the time being. It will allow you get to the point where you are able to begin the important search for the psychiatrist or therapist you need to help you survive, and hopefully, eventually thrive beyond your illness.


deepblue said...

a truly thoughtful post. Thanks for encouraging those of us who have given up on counseling to maybe give it another try. It is encouraging to know that there are some therapists out there (or at least you found one!) that work so meaningfully together with you. I love reading your posts.

Dr. Shock said...

Good disclaimer. I am glad those visitors will not stop you from expressing yourself.
Your blog is top, regards Dr Shock

Aqua said...

Deepblue and Dr. Shock,
Thanks so much. I really want to find a balance between authentically expressing myself and showing others this illness is survivable, even if it seems to go on and on ad infinitum.

I also love the community of bloggers I have met. I always enjoy both your blogs and check them out on a regular basis.

Annie said...

Aqua, I found your post insightful and important for those who come to your site by way of suicide. I respect you for the disclaimer.
I also support the importance of having a pdoc and a therapist. Thanks for this post! Annie

The Silent Voices in my Mind said...

aqua, kudos both for the disclaimer and for sticking to your guns and continuing to post your honest feelings! and thanks for the reminder that things get bad, but they also look up and that there is help both professional and peer support.

good post!

Aqua said...

Thanks Annie and SV. I will deinately keep posting how I feel and how I try to feel better and how sometimes it works and others it doesn't. Hmmmm....sounds alot like life??

Anonymous said...

I have never ever seen recently since I have just started reading blogs something so hearfelt, clear, and yet so caring as this post. I saw your post after my own comment on another blog, and you had been somewhere (to a blog) that a patient should never have to see. I had recently become terrified of all doctors. The one comment you made, about the one blog and about hurting oneself rang true for me personally. Perhaps I should be ashamed, but I have left offices with bad intentions on destroying my own life because of some cruelty I experienced. It was limited to some very bad moments, but I still struggle. The same blog has fueled my need now to start my own regarding a patient's perpective. You should keep writing. You are so talented. People need to see what you have written. I wanted to cry and shout all at the same time. As soon as I get more time to read your blog I will, and when I make a section (just learning to blog) dedicated to my favs I am going to add yours. It is sad what people will put in a search bar, but that should not keep you from writing. I look forward to reading more of your posts...sorry so long :)

Donald said...

Dear Vicarious,

I am a total newbie to blogging and want gain help from the extended community (and hopefully help some folks along the way) can you 'flag' my so far invisible blog please? Thank you so much. Donald

Donald said...

Dear Vicarious, I am a total newbie to blogging and want gain help from the extended community (and hopefully help some folks along the way) can you 'flag' my so far invisible blog please? Thank you so much. Donald