Tag Archives: psychologist

More Appointments

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Today, I saw my GP. I got to ask for a referral to get a diagnosis for some kind of a-neuro-typicality. I’ve known for a long time that I’m not neuro-typical, but I haven’t felt the need to get a diagnosis for it. Some of my past therapists and psychiatrists have suggested that I might have ADD, ADHD, sensory processing issues, OCD… My last psychiatrist did a brief assessment between me and my mom and told me that it was very likely that I fell on the Autism Spectrum (the “Asperger’s” end), but that he wouldn’t give me a diagnosis.

So, today, I had a thorough talk with my GP about the potential diagnosis, the first steps in the process, and why I’m seeking an answer now of all times. Despite living in the land of “free health care,” the diagnosis is going to come out of pocket for me. I’m okay with that, in the long term, I feel like I’ll save money. I’m seeking the diagnosis because I intend on returning to school. I know that I don’t do well in a university classroom, and I want to change that. I feel like having a diagnosis and answers about what can help me, will enable me to get the assistance and accommodations I need at university in order to succeed. It may cost a bunch to get the diagnosis, but in the end, I’ll save money by actually completing my courses instead of failing them and ending up with a higher earning potential.

Tuesday (two days ago), I had a different appointment. I had my intake with the local sexual assault clinic. I don’t know if I’ve talked about this in past posts, I don’t read my post history. I was in an abusive relationship for two years fresh out of high school. My first sexual encounter (in grade 12) was coerced. When I was a live-in nanny and doing everything I could to escape the abusive household I worked for, I spent a lot of time at the bar. One of those nights, I didn’t go “home” and ended up spending it with someone I thought was a friend, who raped me.

I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety and emotion lately and I feel like I could really make use of the clinic’s group courses that they offer to deal with everything that’s coming to light right now. However, I’m not sure that counselling with the center is what I need because so much of what I’m dealing with is life-long, not just what’s gone on since sex became a part of my life.

Self-harm is one of those things that pops up as a life-long issue. I have three potential earliest memories. 1: A dream, very vivid, thought it was real life, and related it to my family on waking as “yesterday” until I was corrected. 2: Sitting in the stroller beside a brick wall, trying to work out how the buckle functions so that I can escape and go play. 3: Sitting on the top bunk of my sister’s bed, with a hammer I had stolen from the garage, hammering at my knee trying to break my kneecap. I cried when I couldn’t do any damage. I had a plan for if I had succeeded to “fall” off the bunk then claim I had fallen and that’s how I broke my knee.

This stands out because it’s a clear thought, clear plan, and a distinct memory. However, there’s nothing in my head for before this (all three of these things happened within a year of each other, if not closer together). Self-harm is one of those things that doesn’t just spontaneously appear. There has to be a reason, a why, a cause. You don’t just wake up and decide “oh, I’m going to do permanent damage to myself.” Something has to happen to you first. One group that’s more at risk for self-harm is those who are LGBT, of which I am both G and T (gay and trans), but at that age, I didn’t know or have any inkling of either. It would be years after this age before I started really expressing frustration about gender expression. Self -harm typically doesn’t start to show up until late childhood/early teens, and this memory is definitely from when I was no more than 3.

All this boils down to a question that popped up when I was hanging with a friend, refocusing, after the intake meeting:

Did anything happen to me (and possibly my sibling) when I was quite young that I just can’t remember? Does my sibling remember?

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Doctors Without Answers

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I’ve had two doctors appointments since I last posted. Let’s start with last week.

On the 8th, I saw the psychologist. She had with her that day a resident training to be a family doctor. That made me less comfortable than I already was. The appointment followed the same track as the one with the therapist and it felt like she hadn’t read my file to understand my background. I don’t know the reasons specifically, but I was having a no-words morning, where it was hard for me to get anything out of my mouth, let alone the details and explanations that the psych needed. It wound up being an hour long waste of time, basically. She had notes that anxiety and hallucinations are the two big issues. She said there was no real indication that my symptoms were part of some diagnosis yet, so we have to just keep an eye on things and see what happens. She told me to stay on the risperidone and come back in a month.

Following the appointment with the psych, I did some thinking and was able to pinpoint what my anxiety is rooted in: the fear of doing something wrong with consequences for other people. I like to live without regrets, like, mistakes are lessons to learn and you can only regret until you learn the lesson. So I’ve made a lot of mistakes with consequences for other people; I learn the lesson and try not to make the mistake again. The problem comes when I get thinking or the thoughts just pop in my head. I start thinking about what I did wrong and what the consequences were and what I might do wrong and what the consequences might be. I get into loops of this where it’s hard to step out and get away from them. I usually remind myself of how the problems or mistakes were fixed and what the lesson was and the fact that there’s nothing more I can do about it. Usually that works. Failing that, I try to distract myself.

Yesterday, the 15th, I saw my GP. Except I didn’t see him, I saw his resident who is practicing to become a family doctor. We covered what’s happened in the last month, what’s changed, and where I’d like to go from there. He taught me a technique for getting out of the anxiety loops: focus on each of the five senses and recognize what those senses are doing and feeling at that moment. I asked him about drinking, something I like to do socially. I was told that I’m allowed one drink, socially, not allowed to get tipsy or drunk. He told me I risk passing out for multiple days and stopping breathing if I decide to get drunk. So, I guess I don’t drink while on risperidone. I also mentioned the blurred vision. He talked me through what it actually was like and confirmed with my GP. They agree that it’s probably a side effect of the drug, something to keep an eye on, but he didn’t recommend a visit to the optometrist.

Other than that, life has been fairly normal. I started my last class of my program. It’s Thursday nights, all group work to keep me accountable, and looks like it will be interesting. I’m eating homemade food a bit more often. I’m starting to really notice how well I’m sleeping and wishing for a more consistent schedule so I wouldn’t have to wake up early for day shift or go to bed at midnight every day for the one night shift so I can take the pills consistently.

I see the therapist next Thursday and the psych again the following Thursday. The appointments are scheduled for later in the day, so hopefully I’ll be able to speak properly at them and get across what I need to get across.