Calm After The Storm- September 2002
On the 21st of August I was admitted to the Nuffield
Hospital in Huddersfield as a guest of the National Health Service.
The psychiatric wing of the Nuffield consisted of 6 beds, each in
their own rooms and all en-suite. This was to be my home for the
next 3 weeks and 2 days.
I was seen by a Doctor Britto who was to be my psychiatrist
while I was in the hospital. After an initial interview I had my
Clomipramine (See notes
on Clomipramine here) dose upped from 200mg to 225mg and was
also prescribed 400mg of Lithium (See
notes on Lithium here).
Further treatment consisted of group therapy sessions
almost every day. I found these to be very interesting and educational.
Another discovery was that most of the patients on the psychiatric
ward attributed the break up of there marriages to depression.
Day after day I sat in my room without moving, just
staring into space and wondering how I had got there. I had no energy,
no enthusiasm for the future, no appetite for life. But as the days
progressed I experienced the same feelings of calm and relaxation
that I had felt when I was a patient at The Retreat. Perhaps it
is this isolation from the daily responsibilities that is therapeutic
in its own right. What I found most impressive was the way that
being in hospital acted in such a way as to offer me the peace that
I couldn't find in the world at large. Impressive perhaps but also
worrying about the possibility of me becoming institutionalised.
Outside of the group sessions there was no real contact
between patients, well between myself and the other patients. It
was as if they didn't exist. I put that down to the fact that everyone
was too busy fighting their own demons and did not want to accept
responsibility for anyone else's.
Upon my release from the Nuffield I was given a week's
supply of medication and sent out into the wide world again. As
soon as I could I contacted my GP to arrange for further supplies
of the drugs I was taking. No problem! As a matter of fact I got
a months supply, more than enough to attempt suicide with. It struck
me as rather ironic actually.
I resumed with my counselling group and set about trying
to lead as normal a life as I possibly could. There is no doubt
that the stay in hospital had calmed me down a lot but at the same
time it had not cured me. Nor had the Lithium had any beneficial
effect. I told this to my psychiatrist and he told me to stop taking
it but continue with the Clomipramine until our next appointment.
So as September passes into October and the leaves begin
their autumnal dance I took stock of my situation (See The
Story of Mr Leaf).
What has changed in the past year? I have had 365 days of negative
feelings of which at least 40 have seen my mind in total chaos and
despair. I have tried to commit suicide. I have been arrested or
threatened with arrest on two occasions and have been sought by
the police on one other occasion. I have spent a total of 4 weeks
in hospital and have been treated by psychiatrists, clinical psychologists,
GP's and counsellors. I have constipation, a dry and salty mouth,
hand tremors and have put on weight. I have a low attention span
and mentally cannot function in any semblance of logical order.
What conclusions can be drawn from these observations? You decide!