Such small things trigger such severe mood episodes.
We’d been doing well for two, maybe even three weeks. Anon wasn’t stable, but she was doing great. Days were enjoyable and Anon was trying hard to avoid stress and cope with symptoms.
Then I tried to sort out some benefit information, and as ever they asked to speak to Anon on the phone.
Now even though I am her registered carer, and Anon’s illness means she can’t talk on the phone, AND I am on the records, they insist they go through security questions with Anon before they will talk to me about anything.
The security questions vary in length; the shortest is just getting Anon to give her name, date of birth, and agree that I can talk for her…if they make it longer for no apparent reason they try get her to talk to them about why I’m phoning, too.
Because Anon’s anxiety, paranoia and psychosis has gotten so bad this past year, I no longer try and pressure her to talk on the phone – it doesn’t help.
A few days ago I made the huge mistake of saying “they want to talk to you for security checks…?” and it completely broke her. She completely shut down and sat staring at nothing, crying. This is what no professional or assessor can ever understand; if Anon struggles with something (even if to them it is insignificant) it is enough to cause an episode.
This is why saying she “just” needs to do it doesn’t help, at all.
Since Tuesday her mood has been much worse. She’s still trying hard, but the stress certainly has triggered an episode.
Today we walked to a nearby supermarket to pick up a handful of items. I asked Anon how she was doing and she was low, anxious and very paranoid.
As soon as we entered the supermarket she began to panic; too much stimulation, too bright, too many people etc. Within two minutes of entering Anon had to leave. She sat outside whilst I grabbed a few things.
By the time we got home ten minutes later Anon was really, really struggling.
She took 5mg of Valium, and the great thing about this med is that it works insanely quickly – within 20 minutes she was far less anxious, and after an hour or so she fell asleep and had three hours rest.
When she woke up she was still struggling, bouncing from coping well to being surprisingly angry (Valium side-effect, we did notice it last time?) and feeling like she’s about to burst into tears.
She’s just taken 2.5mg of Valium to see if it can soothe her and help her sleep, as we haven’t been to bed yet and it’s 5.30am.
If anybody is wondering, she was prescribed these Valium a while back, and told to take such a high dose by an idiotic Doctor that we have a lot left over. I have no problem with Anon taking meds we have in the house if she needs to, at a low dose especially.
It’s not like the NHS are helping her.
We’ve been waiting 21 days now for the service to get back in touch after the emergency GP appointment…