Moose Meets Psychologist

In the spirit of trying new things today I finally had my first therapy session with a psychologist with the Mental Health Team at Goodmayes hospital.

I had a few sessions of counselling a few months ago which I had to pay for, so obviously that couldn’t continue as it was well outside my budget, but helpful at the time.

Today was a different situation though, it has been much needed and a long time in coming. I went in with an open mind and was happy to talk about what has been going on recently, in the past few years and the long forgotten past, but if I am going to get anything out of it may as well go the full monty and clear all the skeletons.

After a short while the lovely lady had come to the conclusion that group therapy is not for me as I am “too gregarious and would dominate the group” which I had to agree with. There is Garry in a group and Garry on his own, and regular readers and friends will know which one needs working on the most! She was struck at how different I was within minutes of being sitting alone in the waiting room to being in a room with someone to bounce off.

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) was the conclusion she drew from the time we spent together, hardly surprising considering how I view myself, but nice for me to have a label on it to allow me to focus on dealing with it.

What I find interesting is that I am more concerned about certain people, their welfare etc, than I am about myself. Is it because deep down I feel not worthy? Why am I more worried about helping them, fixing them, than dealing with my issues?

Something that will certainly be worked on, because the last few nights I have been having a series of revelations about myself, not anything that I have forced either. It feels like the worm is turning in terms of how I see myself and what I bring to the table. I actually feel a lot more positive.

The only downside is that I have to wait “a few months” for a space to come up – hopefully January but as we all know nothing is guaranteed when it comes to mental health treatment. More important between now and then is that I continue to question the thoughts and feelings that contribute to my depression and that is something that I will concentrate on.

If I can see myself the way others see me, then the world could actually be my oyster and I can move on from the worst year of my life.

Moving forwards and leaving the past behind, while learning lessons from it is my new goal.

I have no idea what clicked over the weekend, but something has and I like it!

And the best part of all?

I always assumed I had ANTs in my pants…turns out I have them in my head.. (groans)



Garry Meets the Mental Health Team

Today was my first appointment with the mental health team at Goodmayes Hospital where I had an initial screening appointment with a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) following on from a referral by my GP.

Initially they discharged me without talking to me because my PHQ9 score had gone down from over a period of 6 weeks, despite it having increased since then so as you can imagine I am not fully confident using this route to begin with.

Apparently they even referred me to a local counselling service but 2 months later and they haven’t been in touch either so as far as I am concerned it is not a great start.

I arrived 25 minutes early and had to sit in the waiting room with the sun beating through the windows making me sweat even more than I do on an average day but thankfully they called me at bang on the appointment time where I met the CPN who invited me into a cold unwelcoming room. Not even a desk was there just four chairs, 2 on each side of the room.

For the next hour and a half I sat there and told everything about my feelings and past history while he took notes, and more notes and then some more notes.

It was nice to be able to unload some stuff BUT I am not convinced he was the right person to be telling it too. He seemed to be more focused on the death of my uncle than any other aspect of my depression. I told him that it was one of the main triggers that gave me suicidal thoughts but if I am honest I got the impression he just seemed convinced I was grieving rather than anything else, despite me telling him that the feelings have been around for years.

He also suggested that he doesn’t think I am bipolar but as he is not a psychiatrist he couldn’t make that diagnosis (why bleeding say it then?!!)

Anyway end result is that he has referred me to see a psychiatrist and suggested that I attend counselling to try and rid me of “low self esteem and low confidence issues”

And so the wait to unravel the mystery of the depressed moose continues for while yet…

And in all honesty I left wondering why the hell I bothered!