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don't know where to turn

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
My son was still born almost 4 weeks ago. The grief was overwhelming and crippling. From about 2 1/2 weeks it became more than just grief though - a lot of old issues and feelings have come back up. I'm self-harming again. The feelings are just overwhelming and I feel like a cornered animal, trying desperately to find a way out, to get through each day.

I finally spoke to two of my closest friends about it. Mostly on a private facebook conversation (find it almost impossible to talk about verbally). I've had issues with feeling depressed etc on and off for a long time now, mostly triggered by other things going on, but always a very anxious child etc. I've never talked to anyone about what had happened or what I've been feeling. I've dealt with it on my own (self-harm). It's new and scary for me to be talking to these friends, but I'm desperate. I feel agitated all the time, can't stop my thoughts racing a million miles an hour. I'm not sleeping properly, apetite comes and goes. I feel like I'm spinning out of control and it's scary.

So the friends pushed me that I really need to talk to someone. So I tried ringing Lifeline (mental health helpline in Australia), first time I was on hold and gave up for 20mins. This morning I got onto them. This was so scary for me and I didnt know where to start. Instead of being encouraging he was distant and sounded frustrated and just said 'well, I'm going to need more information.' I got off the phone, said I'd made a mistake.

One of the friends is busy today, the other said to call her if I need to and suggested I take my other 2 sons over to play with her kids if I needed to get out of the house. So I texted her, no reply, I rang her mobile, no reply. Every time I couldnt get in contact it was harder for me, shaking etc, very very hard for me to get the courage to reach out. So I rang her home number. She said she's got a sore throat and maybe we can wait till later in the week, she doesnt want me or my kids to get sick.

So here I am, DH is at work and I've been hiding from him how bad this is getting. He's grieving our baby too, and has stress and work, and is already worried enough about me. He doesnt know about the cutting. When he's home I feel calmer. I've tried reaching out, and couldnt get anywhere. I have no-one else to look after my boys. It's a public holiday here too. No-one to talk to. And I'm getting desperate. I'm not a danger to my boys, I'm not suicidal. But I feel like I'm drowning in this, and I've tried so hard to reach out for help, and nothing. So I'm all alone with this again.

I know I can make an appointment to see someone, but that takes time. I need a way to get through today, without the shaking, and the panic, and the screaming in my head.

Also.....I've done a few surveys/questionaires on mental health sites...they indicate I may be bipolar. But I swing from depressed, not able to do anything, to manic (feeling hyper, reckless, can't sit still and have reorganised the whole house, on top of the world, singing silly songs loudly with my kids in the supermarket) a couple of times a day. My libido has increased significantly. From what I read about bipolar even in rapid cycling you swing a couple of times a year, NOT in a day.
post #2 of 35
I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your son.

I only have a minute right now, but I am worried about you. Please call someone to set up an appointment as soon as you can. Have your DH or your friend call for you or ask them to be with you while you call so you'll have some support.

My brother is bipolar and so is my cousin. My cousin was diagnosed after pregnancy.

Even if you end up not being bipolar, you need to be safe and you need support. You don't have to do it all alone. Are there any support groups in your area - either for baby loss or for bipolar?

Maybe you could look in the tribes area on MDC for some support suggestions?

to you.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. My friends said they will look into who I can call. I don't think anyone understands though, I can't even think a week ahead. Everyday I just fight through to make it to when my DH gets home, and then I can breathe again, and the thoughts slow down a little, I feel calmer.

I think I have to get out of the house. I feel trapped. I need to just run or something. I want to get in the car and drive and drive...or do something crazy...something, anything, be spontanious......I'd love to drive the kids and I down the coast and stay somewhere, pretend we have plenty of money and stay somewhere luxurious for the night. But DH will be home tonight and need us to be home.
post #4 of 35
I understand about making it through the day (from the perspective of depression, OCD and panic attacks anyway). I know right now even trying to think about next week sounds impossible. I hope you can ask your friends to advocate for you right now and help you make the appointment and then help you get to the appointment. Then you can concentrate on just making it one day at a time for now.

Is there some way your DH can take a day or two off work and you guys can all get out for awhile? I have also felt that need to run or to drive and drive and drive. Could you actually go running after DH is home with the kids? Would that help a tiny little bit, even for a little while? (I'm not much of an athlete but once in awhile I really do just want to run because I don't know what else to do - and it seems to help me feel more grounded.)

I've also noticed that this forum tends to get buried very quickly so people may not be seeing your post. You may want to cross-post your OP in another forum you think may be appropriate - maybe Personal Growth? That gets a lot of traffic.

I hope you feel better today when your DH is home. If you have grief counseling available to you, it might be a good idea for both you and your DH. I know you are also worried about him as well.

I'll check on you tomorrow. I'm not sure what time, but I'm on Pacific Daylight Time and tend to be a night person.
post #5 of 35
Make an appt with your doctor. Go to any doctor. Go to an accident and medical centre. They will be able to help you. They will be able to give you something for the severe anxiety you are experiencing and they will be able to refer you to someone else.

I'm in NZ. We have free mental health services where you can see a pyschiatrist, therapist, etc etc. You may have something similar in Oz.

Seriously, any MD will be able to help you and tell you who you can talk to.
post #6 of 35
Originally Posted by Starflower View Post
I've also noticed that this forum tends to get buried very quickly so people may not be seeing your post. You may want to cross-post your OP in another forum you think may be appropriate - maybe Personal Growth? That gets a lot of traffic.

I hope you feel better today when your DH is home. If you have grief counseling available to you, it might be a good idea for both you and your DH. I know you are also worried about him as well.

I'll check on you tomorrow. I'm not sure what time, but I'm on Pacific Daylight Time and tend to be a night person.
Yes, this. In the time that you're setting up an appointment some virtual support may do you good. Or atleast slow you down enough to not present danger to yourself. Even though you say you're not a danger to your kids, I'm worried about them mama. When we're not at our best mentally things can escalate real quick. I know you said reaching out is hard for you, in this instance you MUST. Tell your husband how urgent this is. Tell your friends this is more than a sore throat. Really, just TELL them. Doesn't matter if you appear desperate or grovelling or a loser (in your mind) or whatever. You need help. Please get it. Praying for you.
post #7 of 35
Just checking in to let you know I'm thinking about you.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thankyou so much for the replies. It feels good just to know someone out there is listening. I think the running is a good idea. I may start going for a run early in the morning before my DH goes to work. Hopefully that will help me feel calmer for the day.

I had a friend spend the day with me today. She is very lively and kept me distracted with all her stories. My stomach churns the whole time though. Can someone tell me the difference between a counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist? Which one would be in a position to give a possible diagnosis? I don't want medication....I barely even take panadol. And I hate the idea of not being in control of my actions or feelings, of them being controlled by something else. This is the reason I've never done drugs or had much alcohol - the thought of not being in control is very scary for me.

Tomorrow will be a very hard day, but I will have DH home with me. 4 weeks since we found out our baby was dead and I was induced. Also his cousin who is almost 7months pregnant, her husband and parents are coming for dinner. Her parents have come out from India and culturally it's very important we have them here. I've barely even seen my own family because it makes me so anxious. I don't know how I'm going to get through this and having her here heavily pregnant.

It is so hard for me to let others see this. I've spent so long working to hide it, to fight it. I tried to tell my friends I just had a bad couple of days and I'm ok now, not to worry, it was too overwhelming having them know. I don't think they believe me though. I may ask them to advocate for me as someone said. Do all the ringing around to find the right person. In Australia you get 12 medicare subsidised visits with a psychiatrist, but you need to go to your GP for a referral. The last time I went to my GP was to get a letter to say my baby was dead for the hospital to do my induction. I'm scared to go back.
post #9 of 35
A psychiatrist would do a diagnosis and prescribe medication.

Feeling like you need to be in control is due to the anxiety. Medication will not take away any control. It doesn't affect you the way alcohol or illegal drugs do. It just makes you feel not crazy. Right now your body is in fight or flight mode - that is doing some dodgy things to your body.

If you don't want to go to the same GP I'm sure that any GP would be able to help you. Probably though going to see your GP would be best because they would know your history. I imagine it would be very painful to go back there.
post #10 of 35
First the differentiations on the docs:

In the US, a counselor can be someone with an MA in psychology or social work. The may be able to different types of therapy but do not prescribe meds. Likely, they could be someone to talk with and may refer you to a someone for further diagnosis if they suspect bipolar or such.

A psychologist would have either a PhD or a PsyD (specific doctorate in psych/counseling) and can do many types of therapy. They also do not prescribe meds. I'm not sure if they can diagnose or not. If not, they would refer you. (I had a psychologist refer me to a psychiatrist for diagnosis of OCD, depression and panic disorder.) They would also refer out if they thought you could benefit from meds and were open to the idea.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can diagnose and can prescribe meds. They also see patients for return visits to check up on how their meds are working. I think some of them also do talk and behavior type therapies etc. They usually cost more here than a psychologist. I do not think they can force you to take meds.

If you do end up with bipolar disorder (and I'm not saying that you have this) meds could be a life-saver. I have a brother, a cousin and three friends with bipolar. It can take a while for the meds to get straightened out, but it makes all the difference in the world. Now that my brother has the right combination of meds, he is doing better than he ever has in the past. The difference is truly amazing. Same with my friend. She only wishes she'd been diagnosed and treated 20 year earlier because she struggled for so long. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain. I take thyroid meds because my thyroid levels are unbalanced. I see this is the same type of thing.

Now, I am not bipolar and I used to take meds. I have been off meds for two years after being on Zoloft for several years. The meds helped me for a long time. Some people take them for a short time to help them get over the hump of a very difficult time (and often for PPD). (There are short acting anti-anxiety drugs which can be taken on an as-needed basis.) I am currently seeing a naturopath and taking amino acid therapies for my depression.

My not so humble opinion about meds - sometimes they are necessary. I see meds as a better coping method than cutting. And, if you try a medicine and it makes you feel awful, gives you weird side effects or makes you feel not like yourself, the doctor would not want you to keep taking it and would try to find other alternatives. And here, a GP can prescribe psych meds, but I would still go with a psychiatrist because they are experts on these medications.

Can someone go with you to the GP for your referral? It sounds like you really need support.

As for the dinner:

Is there any way to put it off by even a day so it's not on the anniversary? If not and if you feel like you have to continue with the dinner plans, I think you need to allow yourself to take little breaks throughout the evening. I don't think it's realistic to expect to keep everything under a lid this close to your loss. You may need to cry or emote and it's OK to do this.

It sounds like you may be feeling like you need to keep everything together for everyone and this could be adding to your anxiety.

Are your guests aware of your situation? If not, it may be helpful to let them know what happened so they will be more understanding. Maybe your DH can help you with this since it is his cousin.

If the running helps, maybe going for a run before the dinner party will help you make it through the evening. And maybe you could arrange the dinner seating so that your cousin-in-law is sitting in a place where her pregnant appearance won't be so readily obvious every time you look at her?

We're here for you.
post #11 of 35
oh, I am so sorry
I think asking your friends to help would be wonderful. They probably don't know what they can do to help and to advocate for you would be such a good thing.
They can call your GP and explain your feelings about it and maybe he will write the referral without your needing to go to his office.

As far as the dinner, ugh, I wish you could put it off. I agree with the pp, take breaks. I'm so sorry you have to do it at all.
post #12 of 35
I just read this, and I'm so sorry you're struggling. I wish I could come over and help you out.

I wish you didn't have to do the dinner. I agree - take breaks. If you can't clean, have your friends help you. If you can't cook, order take-out from somewhere. Whatever you have to do to keep it as low-stress for yourself as possible.
post #13 of 35
I am so very sorry for your loss. I'd like to suggest www.missinggrace.com to you. It's a site designed by a mom whose daughter, Grace, was stillborn. What you're going through is tragic and this site may be what you need until you can get in-person help. {{{hugs}}}
post #14 of 35
How are you holding up?

post #15 of 35
Also wondering about you today...{{{hugs}}}
post #16 of 35
Thinking of you today. I hope the dinner went ok.
post #17 of 35
I'm thinking about you too.
post #18 of 35
Just checking in with you.
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thankyou for those who've checked in to see how I'm going, it means so much. The dinner was very difficult, she wanted to talk about her pregnancy the whole time. I tried to keep busy in the kitchen.

20th June was exactly a month since I lost Anil. I expected it to be hard but was shocked by how much it shook me. My social anxiety back to just like it was in the first week. I had to go grocery shopping with my living boys in the morning and almost cried a few times, and have felt nauseous again pretty much since the 20th. It didnt help that I got my period that morning. I couldnt believe that of all days it had to happen that day, my body moving on as if my baby never was. It's been a very intense period too, severe cramps for the few days before still going on now, mood swings, heavy bleeding.

I've withdrawn again from most, but am planning to try and see the two friends I've been more open with tomorrow. Last Friday I had to go to my sisters for dinner, my parents were there too. I was so anxious I felt panicked most of the time. I can't believe what this has turned me into, my relationship with my family was fine before, there's no reason for me to feel like that, but now I'm scared even in such a familiar environment.

I have found a good online support group for the self-harming, I chat there sometimes. Sometimes it helps, other times it's worse and quite triggering. Another thing I am struggling with is I've always been Christian...there have been times I've struggled with my faith before but really now I don't think there's anything left, and that's scary too, to feel like that's been taken out from under me. I just can't see any purpose in anything anymore.

So anyway...a bit of an update...
post #20 of 35
I'm so sorry about your loss.

After we lost our dd, Carina and then I lost my uterus, I struggled with my mental health. I was diagnosed with Bipolar, then hospitalized several times, and put on a lot of heavy duty medication. I finally went off of all of it last November and have been slowly regaining my life. It was not an easy time. I was in a very dark place. But I have come out of it into a spot where I can see the beauty in life again.

Support groups were a lifeline for me. If the self-harming group is triggering for you, you might look into loss support. There were a couple that really helped me.

Please take care of yourself.
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