Seeking help – psychological assessment

I reluctantly have to accept that seeking help is the only way forward. Today I spoke to Heidi about the episode that recently encountered. It terrified me, I even considered going to A&E (see Suicidal and Sectioned) like I did all of those years ago.

Heidi advised that I need more help than she can offer and I must speak to someone and suggested either my GP or a psychiatrist. I cannot tell you how hard that was too hear. I have been speaking to her for months, how can I explain what is happening me to someone else?

Heidi helped me write down what happened during my most recent episode and said she would write a report for whoever I chose to speak to. When I read the report none of the contents were a surprise to me, however it felt like I was reading about someone else.

Symptoms listed in the report:

  • Bouts of extreme insomnia, sometimes sleeping only 2-3 hours a night, this could continue for weeks.
  • Fear of abandonment in meaningful relationships, including pushing others away.
  • One day feeling logical, able to think clearly, able to work well then ‘switching’, can’t think of anything other than hanging myself, or taking an overdose of tablets.
  • Feelings of total and utter despair and panic.
  • Head swimming with ‘intrusive thoughts’.
  • Feelings of anger, hatred, despair and a strong desire to hurt myself
  • My body reacts without my brain, feeling impulsive and paranoid.

Psychological assessment

I contacted a private clinic and explained the situation, that I was struggling with suicidal thoughts. Advised them that I may potentially have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and requested a formal diagnosis. They advised the first thing I needed was a psychological assessment and this would determine the next steps.

Waiting for the psychologist to call me was agonising. I was so stressed and anxious. I did not want to speak to this person. This is not the route I want to take but Heidi has in a way forced me into it, I am no longer in control.

The assessment lasted approx. 40 minutes. Like many I have encountered in the past, it didn’t reflect my reality. She read out questionnaires one after another, designed to calculate my level of depression and mental state. Most ask about how you have felt in the last few weeks, the difficulty for me was that it can change dramatically not just daily, but on an hourly basis, so scoring felt impossible for me.

I need to see a psychiatrist.

At the end of the assessment she said that usually she would make recommendations such as therapy, CBT etc. However my case was far more complicated and she felt I needed more help. She suggested I needed the help of a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and would benefit from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). She recommended that I need further assessment from a psychiatrist.

I felt like I was on a ride I didn’t want to be on, but one that I couldn’t exit. I have spent my entire adult life trying to prove to myself and others that I do not have mental illness and now it appears that I very much do.

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