I am told that it is rare at a mental facility – such as the one I stayed in – to combine neurology and psychiatry under the same roof. I attended the clinic before being admitted numerous times for brain scans. The neurologist and my psychiatrist wanted to rule out any obvious physical trauma before proceeding down the mental health route, especially as I have had a history of severe headaches. In conjunction with a medication regime, I also underwent psychological tests. I remember around five of these tests, firstly with a more junior doctor, and later collaborated by a senior psychologist.

When I had my review I received a hand written piece of A4 paper with the following points:

Physical Complaints

Sadness/Mood Shifts

Need for Confirmation

Irritation, Frustration, Anger

Lack of Self Confidence

Sensitivity and Suspicion

Need to Control and Rationalise

Sensitivity to Tension

A Need to Satisfy Desires

Trouble with Bearing Emotions and Displeasures

They described this emotional disregulation as being ‘’inside the mountain, not on top of it’’.  That I suffered from an emptiness, which made me afraid of intimacy, coupled with a constant fear of being hurt or rejected. These are all factors that sustain bi-polar and I was advised to ‘’restructure myself’’ through intense psycho/analytical/dynamic therapy. I don’t actually know what that means, but I do know that I have not ‘’done’’ the therapy route properly. I still talk openly with my psychiatrist and- together with reading relevant books – am slowly learning coping skills but intense therapy may still be needed in the future. I know that I am hyper- sensitive and feel like I am constantly under personal attack. I get deeply hurt and upset by criticism perceived or real. I remember having this when I was a little girl. I can vividly remember this feeling of being treated unjustly with no idea if it was warranted or not. This particular characteristic has in no way been beneficial to me.

Ironically, my psychiatrist disputed the psychology tests saying they should not have been taken or analysed while I was in mania! I do remember trying to ‘’influence’’ the tests and it would seem most patients do this too, thinking that they are somehow cleverer than the system…

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