Friday, 8 May 2015
The Girl Who Cannot Cry
Every now and then we reach into them and pull them along. We give them of ourselves in the hope they improve and get better. Whether it is time, care, support, or love? We have to, don't we. So what happens when someone you have been helping doesn't improve, at least inwardly? Yes it's frustrating, but I'd say we all hold onto their dream and try and get them on the road to recovery. If we don't try we fail as humans. And what does happen when we say enough is enough, and leave them to their own devices without fully understanding their condition, their wants, and their needs? Yes, we fail, as they may very well do too, sometimes to disastrous effects.
In November 2012 I was alerted through a radio show that one such sufferer had rung in and claimed she was going to end it. My natural reaction was to get hold of her on social media and offer my services to help her away from the path she so desired. Almost daily at the beginning, I kept in contact, mentoring her to find ways to get herself back on an even keel. There were tough days and there were good days. Off and on over the previous 2 and a 1/2 years she has been presenting as suicidal and has gone to lengths to detail as to how she was going to end it. Most times I could use distraction therapy to get her mind around other things and away from the thoughts. Fair to say in that time there have only been three or four conversations where serious suicide attempts were spoken about. I thought I had succeeded to some extent.
Until last week. The girl in question came onto the social media site stating she was deeply depressed and very suicidal. She sounded it too. On Thursday I tried all the techniques that had worked in the past to no avail. After a 3 hour conversation she had her sedative and went to bed. The following night (Friday) followed the same pattern and in a slightly longer chat I managed to get to the core of her PTSD (she'd only shared some trauma before). I now knew she had deep seated issues, so told her to ring Crisis in her area and get Respite. She did and they had nothing for her. I was fearful for her and the situation she says she found herself in meant that she would likely end it that night. Nothing I used would sway her. So I offered to pick her up and have her stay for a week at my place, for three reasons. 1. To get her away from her triggering home environment. 2. To act as a suicide watch on her behalf. 3. To have someone to talk with her and try and help her be less depressed and less suicidal.
The first two days were sheer hard work for me, not having been with suicidal people in person for over 5 years. The second night, after being triggered by things a visiting friend had said, she tried to cut her wrists, but I managed to get the knife before that happened. Her mood didn't improve. After taking her mood stabiliser (about 30 minutes) her mood dipped and she asked me to call the local Crisis Team. They were busy at the time and we were told to go to ED and wait for Crisis Team there. The rest is written in this blog .
After that visit, I tried to give the person the time of day. I took her around the city, showed her sculptures and art, city life, possible housing options if she decided to move for better mental health care. I gave her options and told her that they were there if she decided to act on those recommendations. Her mood during the day was less depressive, but at night her mood dipped after taking one of her mood stabilisers. She seemed more relaxed however than the Saturday and Sunday. Her psychologist rung and gave her a hard time about missing DBT training and to tell her she had an appointment with the psychiatrist (no doubt arranged on receiving the report from the Crisis Team) back in her home town. She became very anxious about this and told me that they (her psychologist and psychiatrist) don't listen to her and she has tried many times to have her medication changed or better treatment for her PTSD issues.
For the rest of the week she was seemingly in a reasonably good space, with some anxiety, but little sign of depression as displayed on the previous weekend. Today I took her back to her city and went into the meeting with her Mental Health Team as a support person. Now I know mental health clients get sick and tired of being sick and tired, but the impression I got from that team was they were sick and tired of being sick and tired of my friend and was stated by them she needs to help herself more with all the tools she's been given. Cold, distant, callous, and down right disinterested. The only thing I could put this down to is that they have dealt with my friend for a lot longer than I have and have formed rock solid opinions of her. To put it in a nutshell, no sign of any caring offered. I did manage to get the psychiatrist to take her back on board for her medication (as her GP and fill in doctor may have messed up her medication levels causing the depression) and for the psychologist to talk to her next week about getting counselling for her PTSD issues (which stem back to her childhood).
I dropped her off at her place after and said not to worry, you now have ideas, plans, maybe's and could be's. It's up to you to chase them. And I also I told her I was available for a chat as always. Ordinarily I don't take this much time with some I mentor. And yes there are deep seated underlying issues with her that need addressing, if they haven't already been done so, but in the end, I am human, and she can't cry (never has, and can't grieve either) and she needs someone to believe in her and to help her out when she needs it. I don't want to see her suffer the way a former room mate of mine suffered and wasn't listened to. People are still affected by his actions and the inactions of the system!!!!!