Today a letter arrived in the post. It was from the mental man.*
It is a questionnaire. It is a questionnaire much like the depression and anxiety questionnaires which I frequently have to fill out, and hate with a passion. (Because looking at it written on paper makes it all seem so real, and what could be more depressing than realising that you score incredibly highly on a depression questionnaire?!)
So anyway, I looked at it. It scares me even reading it. It puts me on edge, this is probably an indicator of how much this stuff** still affects me. So, this questionnaire is scored 0 – 4 for each item, and aims to identify how much the “stressful life event” affects you.
There are 22 items on the questionnaire, I’m not going to write them all out here, because let’s face it…it’s not a very cheery topic! But I’ll include a few examples, because I want to.
At the top it says: “How much were you distressed or bothered by these difficulties?”
And then the list starts, with numbers 0 – 4 so you can tick (0 = not a bit, 1 = a little bit, 2 = moderately, 3 = quite a bit, 4 = extremely)
– Any reminder brought back feelings about it.
This one I scored as 4. Any little reminder of something that happened in the past has a HUGE effect on me. It’s like I’m back there, or watching it all playing over and over in my head.
–My feelings about it were kind of numb.
I didn’t know how to answer this one. I put 1, but I don’t know if that’s accurate. My feelings about this are all over the place. I try to block it all out, sometimes it feels like it wasn’t even me – that’s when I feel numb, but more often I’m angry, upset, embarrassed, ashamed…
– I was jumpy and easily startled.
This describes me exactly. I am constantly on edge, any noise makes me jump, I get scared so easily. I thought it was just me, so I guess I’m glad in a way that it’s not just me.
– I tried not to talk about it.
This one is difficult. I try not to talk about the details. Even when it’s playing out in my head. I never tell him*** everything, he doesn’t ask, so I don’t tell him.
There’s lots more, but I don’t want to write about them. It’s boring to read, and there’s no point. I can just summarise and tell you that most of them I picked 3 or 4 for, some 2s and only one 1 (as described above.)
It’s hard to make yourself understood through a closed question questionnaire. How can anyone know what my 0 – 4 scale is like compared to anyone else’s? It’s too subjective… what does “a little bit” mean? And where is the line between “quite a bit” and “extremely”?
I hope that once they receive my questionnaire they will follow up with more questions. I don’t particularly care about a diagnosis either way. A diagnosis is just a label, and a label isn’t going to make me better. I need action. I need something that will actually help me work through all this, because as much as I wish it existed, there is no magic cure for these problems (depression,anxiety etc.)
A couple of weeks ago, you might have read my posts YoYo, I think I’ve been transported to a parallel universe, and Confused and Baffled, where I described how good and well I was feeling. Sadly, this was not an act of magic which had solved all my problems, and the down was to follow. I should’ve expected it really, and to some extent I did, but a fall is always harder when it’s from a higher height!
So that’s my post for today, and I’ve got a really important post coming soon,**** so please stay tuned… The topic of that post is really important, and needs to be talked about!!
*The community mental health nurse, or whatever he is.
**Things with the ex
***In this case, him is the boyfriend.
****It’s currently in progress, but hopefully will be done for tomorrow.