Since my last period of extreme suicidality (okay, so essentially the last few months of 2017), I have had a “treatment team” looking after me and my mental health. This includes a GP, psychologist specialising in mood disorders and a psychiatrist. During eating disorder treatment, this also included two eating disorder psychologists, an occupational therapist and a dietitian, but I am not in contact with those four anymore.
Generally, these professionals have been great. I normally feel supported. I normally feel safe and comfortable. Vulnerable, but because of the weird friend-professional relationship, not because of their personality or mannerisms.
Until last week.
When both my GP and my psychologist said some hurtful things. As if physical wounds weren’t enough to tend to, now I have internal wounds to nurture too.
My GP asked: How is the study going?
Me: Good. Studying isn’t an issue for me. My grades are fine.
GP: So you’re able to concentrate?
Me: Yes, but my grades have never been a good indicator of my mental health.
GP: That tells me you’re able to control your depression. Most people come to us because they’re failing all their courses; their depression is really severe.
Me: Are you saying my depression can’t be bad because I’m not failing?
GP: Well, it shows you can concentrate.
How about no. How about my grades are no indication as to my mental health because I’m an intelligent human being who has never failed anything in her life except for her first driving test. Whose grades never dropped below a high B, even when her brother got cancer and she started self-harming. Whose grades are at their highest, when mental health is at its worst. How about I am an extreme perfectionist who cannot bear the thought of not submitting an assignment, no matter how distorted my thoughts are at the time. Suicidal or not, I will study. It’s called a distraction.
I’m going to be seeing a new doctor from now on.
Oh yeah, and then this happened:
Therapist: Why are you still self-harming?
Me: Because I feel like shit and I hate myself
Therapist: Does self-harming make you feel better?
Me: Not anymore. But it hurts.
Therapist: Is it rewarding for us to talk about self-harm? Does raising my concern perpetuate your self-harming behaviours? Because it has gotten more frequent throughout the time we’ve been working together. Know that your frequency of self-harm doesn’t affect how often I see you, but if you are continuing to engage with urges in order to continue seeing me then we need to stop talking about it.
How about no. How about I have been self-harming more in the past year because I have been severely distressed and my eating disorder switched from anorexia to bulimia and I went through an extended period of suicidality where I wanted to die everyday and couldn’t care less about adding more scars to the mess I’ve made of my thighs and wrists. How about we deal with the fact that there’s this belief that I deserve to be punished and deserve to hurt and deserve to feel pain even when I’ve done nothing wrong and I don’t know why that is. How about this is the only space I have to discuss self-harm and the fact that you show concern is actually motivation for me to stop.
My therapist is great. But he implied I was self-harming for attention and this isn’t true. Maybe it’s because he was the one to diagnose me with borderline personality disorder and thinks I’m doing a “BPD thing”. To be fair, I have been super ambivalent lately. I also have stopped trying to hard my scars / cuts, so maybe for the first time he’s actually been confronted with the extent of my self harm.
I don’t know. I will not be getting a new therapist, because I’ve been down that road too many times to count. I will be getting a new doctor, because apart from that little “You can’t be depressed if you’re not failing” spiel, she has also told me that everyone has an eating disorder, and what makes mine special enough to need treatment? (This was prior to asking for a treatment referral).
So basically, I feel very let down right now, and for once I’m writing a rambling vent-style diary-entry post, even though I have never liked doing that because it is less aesthetic and conflicts with my writer ego.
Over and out. For now, forever, who knows, anything is possible. I’ll probably be here to write another post, but we’ll see. Ciao.