Motherhood, mental illness and beyond

My net

Trigger warning: suicide.

For ages now I’ve been pottering along, coping ok with the usual day-to-day stuff and seemingly well thanks to my anti-depressants. Until a few weeks ago, that is. For no discernible reason my mood took a nosedive and I began to have suicidal thoughts for the first time in almost 3 years. I’m not saying that I wanted to kill myself, I didn’t. But thoughts of suicide were continually popping into my head and I found myself dreamily considering ways of ending my life. Needless to say, this terrified me. Which, in a way, was a good sign – when I’ve been truly suicidal these kind of thoughts have been welcome, even comforting. But this time they were intrusive and frightening.

I’m lucky to have a great GP, who managed to squeeze me in at short notice. She listened sympathetically, checking that I felt able to keep myself safe and that I had people I could turn to if that changed. She increased the dosage of my anti-depressants and fired off an urgent referral to the community mental health team (CMHT). Much to my surprise they called me later the same day and offered me an appointment with a mental health nurse the following morning. The appointment went well and the nurse was reassuring. She agreed that I seemed able to keep myself safe despite the suicidal thoughts, and gave me the details of the CMHT helpline in case I started to have difficulties with that. She also referred me back to a psychiatrist for mid-April, just to be on the safe side.

Gradually my mood began to improve, and I went from barely being able to move off the sofa to throwing myself into the housework with an enthusiasm that’s most unlike me! I haven’t had any suicidal thoughts for days now. I’ve seen my GP again and she’s happy that I’m safe and managing far better. For now I’ll continue on the higher dosage of anti-depressants, but if I start to get too high or notice an increase in hypomanic episodes we’ll try lowering it again.

I consider myself to be very lucky. I have nothing but praise for the NHS, my GP and the CMHT, who saw me so swiftly. DH is my rock, and my wonderful sister and parents are supportive. My dear friend Sutton is a treasure beyond compare and I also have some amazing friends on Twitter who, although we’ve never met, are kind and caring and incredibly supportive (you know who you are!). I am so grateful to all these people; for listening and reassuring, and for being the safety net that stopped my headlong plunge into darkness. I really don’t have the words to express how thankful and humbled I am by their love and support, so I’ll just say this, from the bottom of my heart:

Thank you.


Comments on: "My net" (6)

  1. Thanks for sharing that. It’s good that you recognised these thoughts and sought help. I had been pushing away suicidal thoughts for months before a multitude of things were affecting me and I finally broke down and admitted I needed help again. Never give up on life. If things are so bad that you feel like ending it all, things can only get better.

  2. You must well have also been told that people with bi-polar shouldn’t be on but the lowest possible doses of anti-depressants or it will trigger mania or hypomania. Because of that “rule” I was stuck on far too low a dose of anti-depressant for years and for the last one or two years I slept more hours in a day than a newborn! Finally I told my GP I have NO quality of life whatsoever. I begged for help. She increased my anti-depressant and it had such an immediate effect (positive) that a month later she increased it more. I feel like someone turned on all the lights and I can actually LIVE again. She said at the time, “To hell with the ‘rules’, you’re my patient and I can’t leave you like this!” Bless her to the moon and back.

    No signs of hypomania. I’m still having to work on getting a life together after being ‘down’ so long. I have other health issues and other medications drag on me. But gawd what a difference! I’m so glad to hear you have had a change for the positive too, Sam.

    Best of luck.

  3. I’m really pleased you sought help for your problems.In fact i think you have just prompted me to do the same thing.I have also been on a downward spiral the last two weeks and i now realise the issues will not go by themselves.I need to sort my head out and i’m going to get help.Thank You.Take

  4. You have been brave and strong. I’m so glad you actively tackled your feelings and you located help. Your GP sounds like a good person as she was able to help you through this crisis. Hang in there. There are times you may want to say goodbye to life but then you are so much better. Your life has meaning to lots of people. I would like you to live and be an example of finding the means to not just cope but be happy and active for the other sufferers, so many, in this world. Bless you.

  5. You are incredibly brave and strong. I’m pleased you’ve got such a good GP and that the CMHT are so supportive too.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. My CMHT have been great too.

    Suicidal thoughts are just terrifying. Pleased you’re feeling much better.

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