Last Friday, I met up with my case worker again, and he's brought along another chap from the Early Intervention in Psychosis team. He was really nice, and we had a good in-depth chat. Little did I know the session would go on for a full two hours though! I must admit, I was grateful they'd kept this time aside for me, and not once did I feel rushed, which certainly put me at ease.
My case worker had been unsure as to what the cause of my hallucinations had been. It had been thrown around that it was my anxiety taking on another form or that it could be something more that the psychosis team would need to help me with. After this session, the chap from the Early Intervention team seemed more skewed towards it being anxiety related, despite a couple of symptoms. I'm going to try and take that as a positive though!
One of the things I hadn't really spoken up about before was the repetitive thoughts I have on a regular basis. I tend to mull things over a lot to the point where I struggle to sleep, and I worry that if I think or feel a certain way (mostly if I let myself think positively) then something bad will happen. I'd always put this down to anxiety, but Early Intervention chap suggested this was more of an obsessive-compulsive behaviour which I hadn't really thought of before.
It took me by surprise but it does make sense. I am frightened of thinking or doing certain things because I'm anxious of the consequences. It's just a different kind of OCD that I was perhaps used to seeing in people. Whilst it's hard realising this could be another diagnosis, in some ways, it was kind of like a welcomed realisation. I'm starting to have an understanding of what happens in my mind, and why.
We then went on to quite an in-depth discussion on medication. I'm not sure if I have mentioned before, but whilst I AGREE with medication, of course in a perfect ideal world I wouldn't have to take it. I often forget to take them and my emetophobia doesn't help as I'm worried about side effects. However, I swore to do these sessions with an open mind! So here's a list of medications I've been suggested to think about and make a decision on:
- Pregabalin - for Anxiety. A relatively new drug, but is made in the UK and has had some good feedback so far.
- Quetrapline OR Aripripirazole - for "unusual" experiences and mood (i.e. hallucinations, anger and low moods). Not looked into these too much yet as a little bit anxious about them.
- Diazepam - for Anxiety but only for a very short term basis due to it being highly addictive.
- Melatonin - for sleep. Not normally prescribed for people my age, but is relatively natural and few side effects.
- Also the option of increasing my Sertraline a heck of a lot because right now, the dosage I'm on isn't really going to be enough to make a dent apparently!
I'd love to know if anyone here as any experiences of these medications that they wish to share. I'm not sure I want to start anything quite yet with it being so close to our wedding day. Just upping my Sertraline before was enough to make me way too buzzy for my liking.
So, I'm still awaiting a formal diagnosis, although they don't want me to be labelled. My arguement was that for living with this for so long, I just need to know what I'm coping with in some ways. I'm hoping to see a psychologist sooner rather than later so we can take another step in that direction. I'm lucky as well that I've been offered a trainee Occupational Therapist to help me increase my activity levels and get me out and about to help improve my overall health. I'm looking forward to feeling healthier!
Thanks for reading, love to you all. x