(I have permission from Johan to talk about his mental health on my blog.)
Today I’ve had an enjoyable day. Woke up this morning, got washed, dressed, and hair done (in a French plait :D) when lovely Icelandic carer came, then fell asleep again until this afternoon. This afternoon I went on my computer for a short while, and have been reading twitter and blogs while chatting to Johan about things. This evening we went to the MetroCentre, where I had makeup applied and then bought it all in Boots, followed by buying chocolates in Thorntons and going to Nandos for a lovely meal with Johan. We came home, and Johan gave me a lovely bed bath then a massage.
All that is very nice, and though I’ll pay for the day out in a day or two, it was worth it.
So what on earth does this have to do with World Mental Health Day?
I’m lucky- apart from some anxiety issues, I no longer have any severe mental health problems (I did have severe depression and also some psychotic features such as paranoia and hearing voices). I’ve been mentally stable for over 18 months, and stopped taking the last of my psychiatric medications about a week and a half ago. I had been suffering from depression for nearly 12 years before that, so I am extremely grateful to have reached this level of recovery. If it weren’t for the M.E. there is no reason why I wouldn’t be either at university or in a job right now.
Johan, on the other hand, is not so lucky. He’s currently suffering from bad depression. His brain is telling him nearly constantly to hurt himself. He is getting thoughts of suicide. His mood has dropped a lot, over the last fortnight and especially the last few days. Going out this evening and giving me a bed bath were distractions for him, but he was unable to enjoy them as he would have done if he was not depressed. He has asked me to stop him going into the kitchen and to stop him taking my medications as he’s worried that he will hurt himself. I am very worried about him.
Tomorrow we both have appointments with awesome GP, at about the same time. My appointment will be for discussing how I’m getting on with the tramadol (pretty well- it takes the edge of the pain most of the time) and probably talking about having to call an ambulance out on Saturday night (I’ve probably pulled a muscle in my chest, and it’s nowhere near as bad as it was). I’ll talk about that more in another blog post.
Johan’s appointment will be tell the doctor how Johan is getting on mood wise. He was started on sertraline a couple of weeks ago, when we told the doctor his anxiety was getting worse. Johan at the time wasn’t admitting that he was getting depressed again, so I didn’t mention it to the doctor. The medication takes a few weeks to get working, and it’s been making Johan very lethargic among other things, so we’ll be telling the doctor that. We’ll also have to tell the doctor about all the things I mentioned before. I’m hoping that awesome GP will be able to do something to help, though I’m not entirely sure what. Johan, as he’s depressed, is convinced he’s evil, he can’t be helped, and that he doesn’t deserve help. I am aware that this is depression talking, as I used to to think the same way. I do think he can be helped, and will be as supportive as I can be to try and get him that help. It may be that he will need a short stay in hospital, as I am unsure of our ability to keep him safe. Hopefully it won’t come to that.
So there we go. Today, on World Mental Health Day, I’ve been not doing anything to try and raise awareness, but more trying to cope with the mental health problems that have been hurting Johan, while at the same time have been grateful for how mine has improved.