Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Desperately Waiting

I've been wanting to write about this for a while. I haven't because firstly I find it so upsetting and secondly because the issue was nowhere closer to being resolved. Now it's getting somewhere I think I'll feel a huge sense of relief writing about it.

As you all know my fiance walked out over a month ago. It turns out things weren't that simple. He left because he'd been hiding the fact he was feeling really low and didn't want to drag me down.

Looking back I had noticed he was down and I hate myself for not mentioning something. He had no concentration for a while and had got much grumpier. On top of that he just wasn't really sleeping much and seemed more miserable. Whenever I'd ask him why he wasn't cheerful he'd blame work and make jokes about having a nervous breakdown. I stupidly believed him when he said he was OK, and thought that just by being the best girlfriend ever I could cheer him up.

That wasn't the case.

A week or so after he broke up with me I spent some time with him and realised he had a serious problem. He was weepy, his hands shook, he couldn't make eye contact, wasn't eating, wasn't doing anything he used to enjoy and was constantly saying how guilty he felt that he was such a failure in life. He really isn't.

I spent a whole night of not sleeping, not really knowing what to do. He dumped me so surely I should just back off? Fortunately I love him so much that I couldn't do that. I knew he wouldn't listen to anything I said so I wrote him a letter. I wrote all the things that were worrying me about him, and how it sounded a lot like depression. I told him he should get some help. I also told him that no matter what, I was going to be there for him.

He read the letter and phoned me up really relieved because someone recognised what was wrong. He was scared about going to the doctor. Scared of all the bad things he'd heard about antidepressants. Scared he'd look weak. Scared he wouldn't be believed.

With what look a lot of bravery he made a GP appointment. He had to wait 10 days. Unfortunately his own GP was away so he saw a locum. The locum agreed he needed to be seen again and got him to fill out a questionnaire. This is a questionnaire which uses questions based on the criteria for diagnosing depression to estimate the severity of someone's depression. He scored a score that put him in the bracket of severely depressed.

NICE guidelines state that both pharmacological treatment and a referral should be given at this point. Shame he didn't get it. He was messed around with appointments that were apparently booked but there was no record of and ended up going back to the locum again who just sent him home telling him to wait for a referral to come through at some point in the future.

All the while he was getting more and more ill. Last weekend he was so clearly distressed and so withdrawn that while driving back from visiting him I had to stop the car because I realised I was sobbing. It's so upsetting to see someone you love so much in such a state.

This was last weekend. I've been so worried about him I haven't been sleeping myself. After seeing him this weekend I couldn't eat for 2 days or sleep more than an hour at a time. I'd really got myself into a panic and didn't know what to do. I was really starting to think that he'd just be abandoned by the NHS and left until he got so bad he just decided to end things.

Tuesday morning I got a call at 4am. It was him. He'd got into an anxious state and felt like he was going to explode. He didn't think he could cope with anything any more. Part of me wanting to jump in the car and rescue him, but what could I do?

Between us we had a chat about things to help him get through the night and he decided to make another GP appointment in the morning even though they'd been fobbing him off.

Thankfully his GP from childhood was back off holiday and saw him. This GP, we shall call him Dr Lovely, instantly admitted that my ex was clearly not himself. GP lovely had a good chat with him, even though it made his clinic run over. He sorted out a quicker referral. He also prescribed some citalopram. Dr Lovely took the time to chat to him about the medication and made sure he felt that if he needs to see him again before his next appointment in a few weeks time that the door is always open. I honestly feel that Dr Lovely has saved his life.

Now it's just the wait while the citalopram kicks in and the earlier promised referral happens.

The waiting is really hard though. All I can do is be there for him, but there's no real advice I can give and I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I really hope he pulls through this.

Lily xXx


Alison said...

It sounds like it’s been an extremely difficult couple of weeks to deal with. To watch someone you love go through something like depression is hard, particularly when at the outset you’re standing on the outside really not knowing what to do. It must have been a relief for him to get to see his regular GP as well, in order to get out how he was feeling. Citalopram is a good medication for severe depression, it was one that initially worked for me many years ago when others didn’t, I had a good few positive years on it, I hope it works for your other half and that he’s able to see the brighter side of things and also that his referral appointment comes through soon as well.

Allie said...


ilovehotchocolate said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog from Merys Jones' and loved it so much I read it right from the start. Suffice to say, I love your blog, and it's been really good to see the sorts of things I'll be doing in a few years time. Congrats for having the strength to help your fiance when he needed it most and I hope things work out and he gets better soon. Knitting tip: I find knitting socks using two circular needles much much easier than working on four :) Many hugs and keep blogging please!!! *hugs*