Chasing the black dog



  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Huia wrote: »
    Penal Substitutionary Atonement. Only don't ask me to explain it because it's never made sense to me and someone else will give you a far more coherent answer than I could.

    The idea that Jesus was made guilty of our sins. So "substitutionary" means that our sin is put on him, "Penal" that he then paid the price for it. Or, another way of looking at it is that Jesus was substituted for us.

    And because of that, we are free of our sins. That is atonement.

    It is A valid way of looking at atonement. it is not THE valid way. A decent atonement theology embraces a range of interpretations, and then acknowledges that it is still a mystery.

    The core problem with PSA is that it makes God a monster who will punish someone on behalf of someone else, and that He is a God who demands punishment and pain.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Having a hard time at present for various reasons. Thinking of all with a black dog.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Reading and praying
  • CameronCameron Shipmate
    {{Nenya, Caroline444, Arethosemyfeet}} - and all having it hard, whether in the dog’s cold dark pit or in the swirling gales of worry.

  • (((Nenya)))
  • <votive> ((Nenya)) As WW would say, "Holding us all in the living, loving light"
  • And holding him there too.
  • Prayers for those of you finding life difficult.
  • <votive> ((Nenya)) As WW would say, "Holding us all in the living, loving light"

    Oh yes, I love that.
    Love and prayers for all those having a difficult time, for whatever reason.

    @Arethosemyfeet PSA preaching gives me the slight heebie jeebies these days. I think because it strikes at the heart of all that the excellent therapy and work I’ve done myself has achieved - an understanding that I’m fundamentally ok. Forgive the unasked for advice, but in case it helps - I get through it by playing sermon bingo. Make a bingo card on your service sheet and include phrases you know will come up, then tick them off as they are used. Yes it’s childish, but I find it really helpful. Doodling is also great, as is writing words from favourite songs. All things that give a bit of distance from what the preacher is saying, and remind me that I don’t have to believe it all. Plus which, people think you’re taking notes so you look extra holy. :wink:

    When I’m anxious in church I also do a grounding technique- looking around for 5 things I can see, listening for 5 things I can hear, finding 5 things I can feel. Then repeat with 4 different things, all the way down to 1. Good luck!

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Bad night. Awake with a headache - combo of hangover/tension and possibly meds I am taking for skin condition (leaflet mentions it as 'common') But of course at 2 am all you can think is: What if it's not just the drink and the pills?
  • Firenze - I totally relate - at 2am in the morning I could give myself anything - if the more common and garden conditions and diseases don't fit, you can always travel a bit further...
  • Coincidentally, I was reading one of Parker Palmer’s books (sample here) last night in which he wrote (and I quote): “the 2:00am mind is almost always deranged”.

    I think I might write that on a notepad on my bedside cabinet, as a reminder for those sleepless times...

  • I have a lovely book given me years ago with the title "Prayers at 3 a.m." I have often found it helpful, not only at that time.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... people think you’re taking notes so you look extra holy. :wink:
    I used to have a colleague (who tbh was a wee bit holy, but no harm to her really) who said she practised her shorthand by taking down sermons.

  • Disordered eating is gathering pace and messing with my mind. I’m hoping it settles soon.
  • Cameron wrote: »
    Coincidentally, I was reading one of Parker Palmer’s books (sample here) last night in which he wrote (and I quote): “the 2:00am mind is almost always deranged”.

    I think I might write that on a notepad on my bedside cabinet, as a reminder for those sleepless times...

    I like that a lot, and might do the same.
  • @not entirely me I have experienced these issues too. I hope very much that you are able to stabilize soon. All my good wishes...
  • New low point. I got drunk. My texts stopped making sense. My friend contacted my mental health practitioner who came round to check I was ok. I was ok. To be fair booze had gone to my head as I’d made myself vomit tea but I still feel really bad. But really cared for. Meeting said friend for lunch today. It’s going to be awkward.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    @not entirely me hugs. You crashed. You have survived. It will be fine.
  • Lots of love, not entirely me. I hope lunch was ok.
  • <votive> for all here
  • My Goddaughter's mother took an overdose tonight. She messaged me that she was going to, and I drove there much faster than was safe. She'd messaged another friend, too, who also came ASAP. I phoned NHS 24 who said to bring her straight into A&E, so other friend (a more confident driver at speed) drove her and Goddaughter, and I followed at a more sedate speed, so that I could take Goddaughter home if her mother was admitted. Which she was. The goodish news was that she hadn't taken enough to warrant her stomach being pumped; just enough to make her groggy. After the last incident she did eventually agree to me making a limited disclosure and she was put on a waiting list, hopefully this is the point at which lots of help kicks in.

    She had written a note telling her daughter that I would look after her. Of course I would, but I'm shaking thinking of it.

    I still think it's more of a "cry for help" given that she messaged at least two of us.
  • It sounds like you were a great friend to both the mother and your god-daughter ..... I hope your friend receives the help she needs, and that you and the daughter are able to reach some sort of peace of mind. I can't imagine how upsetting it must have been for both of you.
  • @North East Quine you are brave and kind. I hope that you are able to treat yourself gently today, and that your friend is rapidly moved up the waiting list for help.
  • That is kind, but I was pretty hopeless last night, and just running on adrenaline.
  • What I need now, is to be able to work out how I can best support my Beloved Goddaughter and her mother, and I'm feeling unsure and inadequate. I don't want to get anything wrong, or make anything worse.
  • @North East Quine it seems to me that the first thing you need is some support for yourself. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place in this situation, and that is not a good place to be. I'm not sure I recognise your assessment of what you did last night, either, but it does show just how impossible your situation is.
  • I still think it's more of a "cry for help" given that she messaged at least two of us.

    That sounds likely, doesn't it. ISTM far from being in danger of doing the wrong thing, you did just the right thing - turned up and got her into hospital.

    I don't know if this is at all useful, but my own experience of this kind of thing has left me feeling that the person who is depressed - and sometimes, that has been me - can have a really complicated take on reality which by their statements, half-statements, non-statements, inferences and all that, they try to draw the 'helper' - other times, that's me - into their world. I've found being blunt and factual about things as 'helper', however softly I might try to put that over, to be important in retaining my own perspective and helping me to be there for the longer haul. I'd encourage you not to worry about putting a foot wrong - you certainly will, that's the nature of it, but you're thoughtful and reflective and a faithful friend and I'm sure you'll be a great help, as you have been already.
  • @North East Quine

    Your responsibilities at the moment are in order for yourself, your Goddaughter, your family and then only then if anything is left over for your Goddaughter's mother. As far as possible let others pick up for your Goddaughter's mother. Your Goddaughter needs someone batting for her in this situation and it looks as if that someone is you. There may well be conflicts of interest between what is good for your Goddaughter and what is good for her mother. You have by her mother been given the role of supporting your Goddaughter, do not be drawn away from that.
  • @North East Quine I agree with @ThunderBunk - you did much more than others might have been able to do.

    It is that it is good that you are there to help out and be supportive, but you are not responsible for your friend’s actions or the treatment of her illness. Whatever happens it is not your fault. You are being a kind and supportive friend, you have helped make the right medical referrals and should continue to seek external help if you are concerned. I know that is all easy to say and it feels much harder when you care as much as you do.

    There are also sources of information that may be helpful to you and others, for example:
    Samaritans page for those worried about someone else
    what to do if someone you know is suicidal

    Please also look after yourself, especially since you have experienced enough difficult times of your own in the past. A short quote from the first Samaritans page linked above:

    Supporting someone in distress can be distressing in itself. If you're helping someone who's struggling, make sure you take care of yourself as well.

    If you need to talk about how you are feeling, please call Samaritans on 116 123, or email on, whenever you need

    Conversation here will continue to be supportive too, I am sure, and the information links posted above aren’t meant to stop that.

    Finally, I am new around here and am not an expert, so you may not feel comfortable doing so, but if it would also help at all please feel free to PM me at any time.

  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    @North East Quine you are doing so well in a horrible situation! I will be praying for you all 🕯.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    (NEQ, Goddaughter and Goddaughter's mother.)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    NEQ, you are a very good and brave lady. I can't offer much in the way of practical advice, but please know that you, your god-daughter and her mum are in my prayers.

  • Thank you, everyone!

    She was only kept in for 24 hours and is back home. She desperately needs psychiatric help, but apparently this hasn't pushed her any further up the waiting list. Plus the last time she got to the top of the waiting list, she went to the first appointment and refused to go back for her second appointment. So I'm not confident that getting to the top of the list will necessarily be the solution.

    She's not best pleased with me because my Goddaughter took yesterday off school. I contacted the school and told the school why she was taking the day off. The Deputy Head phoned me back to ask whether social work were aware, so the school is on it!

    Her mother would have preferred that Goddaughter went to school and pretended that nothing had happened, and that I should have insisted her daughter go to school, which I think just goes to prove that her grasp of reality is not strong at the moment. (Haven't mentioned the call back from the Deputy Head which will only annoy her more.)

    I had a hot bath and an early night last night. Posting here and reading your posts has helped me think more clearly. It's been a huge help. I'll pass the Samaritan links onto my Goddaughter, Cameron. Thank you.

    I am fine. But please remember my Goddaughter and her mother in your prayers.

  • ZoeZoe Shipmate
    Deputy head has a professional responsibility themselves to contact Goddaughter's mother and inform her that they are contacting social work. Has Deputy head indicated they will be doing this?

    Is Goddaughter needing or getting any support such as from a school counsellor? The one thing which I think is most important in this situation is for Goddaughter to know that she is not and cannot be responsible for her mother's health, well-being or physical safety.

    I'm afraid when I read your posts, I struggle to have sympathy with Goddaughter's mother and want to give a good shake and shout at her - "This is not fucking-well fair on your daughter! Stop it!"

    As long-standing Shipppies will know, I say this as somebody who a number of years ago was very actively suicidal myself. Nowadays, I am the least suicidal I've ever been in my adult life, but as well as having good help and support available to me (both NHS, private professional and wonderful friends), that has required substantial hard work and exercising of my autonomy on my part. My life was miserable and I couldn't go on with it the way it was so I decided to change it (albeit, having discovered first that I wasn't very good at suicide so couldn't get out of things that way). Sorry. This all probably sounds very mean towards Goddaughter's mother, but her behaviour is so, so unfair to Goddaughter. Also, it does sound like cries for help rather than her really want to complete suicide, but does she realise how high a risk she is running of doing herself significant physical damage / dying unintentionally through the physical harm she's inflicting on herself? In your position I would be tempted to raise this in conversation - "I think that that overdose might have been about you wanting everybody to know how much you're hurting rather than you being sure you wanted to die, but you put yourself at huge risk of dying without fully meaning to do so, because overdosing on medication is physically dangerous even if you think you've not taken enough to kill you." (Not saying you should say this to her, just my rambling thoughts on things ...)
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    A couple of months ago my GP gave me a course of SSRIs for acute anxiety. I didn't start it at that time, since I was due to go on holiday and one thing and another, and I didn't want to be coping with possible side effects. Plus the anxiety had sunk to merely chronic.

    However, it's up and about again, and I'm eyeing the box. Anyone with experience of this kind of medication?
  • Yes, maybe, no. With my mental health, I can say I have these diagnoses and I take/have taken this medication and at present, I am pretty balanced.

    When depression was added to the underlying anxiety diagnosis the GP put me on SSRIs, this was about fifteen years ago. At the time both the diagnosis and clearly being medicated for it helped. It at least legitimized my feelings. The SSRI (Paroxetine) is one that is supposed to be good for anxiety. However, after I started taking it there were concerns raised over long term use followed by withdrawal. By the time it became public I was a longterm user. I was not in the severe bracket with withdrawal although it was not fun; I did it but sometimes by sheer stubbornness. Two reasons that in part could account for the lack of severity; I did it very slowly (dropping at times by 5mg or less at monthly intervals) and secondly I was also by then on a low dose of a second anti-depressant.

    Given this I would want to ask:
    • How long has this drug been on the market? Less than ten years and I would be cautious
    • Are there reports of problems with withdrawal?
    • What are the alternatives?

    I should say the second anti-depressant along with a beta-blocker are my wonder drugs for depression and anxiety. They work and they work at relatively low doses. However, because it suits me, does not mean that is will suit anyone else.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Thanks for that. I am cautious about mind-altering drugs, but recognise they have their uses. I have a small stock of diazepam which I trot out for things like Mr F's cancer reviews (because this could be the one where his current chemo isn't working any longer).

    I believe that my anxiety/depression is exogenous.
  • Mine is as well and what the drugs I take to do is that they enable me to be more pro-active within the situation than I would be otherwise. Firstly it slows my brain enough so I can actually think and secondly it means I have enough will power to actually do the things that enable me to function more effectively.
  • I'm on duloxetine (which is an SSRI, I think) for my anxiety with Proprananol (a beta blocker) for more acute symptoms. It's not enough to control work-induced panic attacks but it seems to manage what I might call "resting anxiety". The main side effect for me seems to be digestive. Everything. Moves. So. Very. Slow. Ly.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Yes, the doctor did cheerfully refer to the possibility of nausea and stomach upsets, which, as I have a tricky relationship with my digestion at the best of times, put me off further.
  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    I've been on SSRIs for about 25 years. I get a gippy tummy on quite a regular basis, and I sometimes feel a bit sleepy. I note these are both side effects of Sertraline (the SSRI I take.) I also still get mildly depressed. It is however nothing like the depressions I used to get before taking SSRIs, and I consider the side effects a small price to pay for being able to function in the way that I do. My sister is also prone to depression, and I have seen SSRIs have a massive positive effect in her life too. She considers them a life saver.
  • The North East Loon was put on sertraline pending CBT, for which there was a long waiting list. It worked for him. After the CBT finished he had to wait 6 months before starting to reduce the dose. He has had no problem dropping to a lower dose and hopes to come off completely next year.

    It doesn't seem to help short-lived anxiety spikes (e.g. a filling at the dentist)

    The main side effect is that he sweats more, which is a known side effect.

    The Loon, who is reading this as I type, says that it took about a month to work, but once it did he saw a marked improvement and it really helped. It's not, for him, a permanent solution but it allowed him to continue while a better solution (CBT) was found. Once he has come off, he would be prepared to go back on in the future.

  • I'm back on one after finally dragging myself to the doctor... Why do I always think it will pass? Or try and convince myself it will perhaps? They help me function.

    Best wishes to all.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    I’m glad you dragged yourself, @Climacus, 🕯
  • Take care Climacus - and I hope your doctor was able to make a difference ((((C))))
  • I am too, Climacus. I hope you start to feel the benefit soon.

    I am the world's worst advert for SSRIs. I managed one (one!) citalopram, and one (one!) sertraline. The nausea was something else, I thought I was going to be housebound, the sertraline made the anxiety worse. Ofc when one of your ocd symptoms is a fear of vomiting in public, constant nausea is a bit of a problem, and the anxiety was already making me feel sick with fear most of the time. It wouldn’t have been possible to start them without MrJt9 taking a week off work to do everything. Luckily they were supposed to be a bridging thing until the CBT group came through, it came through quickly, and I’m now much better than I was.

    I wouldn’t rule them out in the future, but it would need some serious planning.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Oh my, Jemima! Our bodies are complex beasts indeed re tolerance and reactions... I had quite a poor reaction to one antidepressant, but nothing like yours; it was a relief to get off it. Glad to read the CBT group came through quickly and you are feeling better than before.

    And thank you all.
  • I suspect the problem with tolerating the ssris was very much at my end, rather than the fault of the drugs. If I hadn’t been feeling so sick all the time anyway, a temporary increase in nausea would have been fine. I’ve just finished a weeks worth of antibiotics which made me feel sick and tired, but it was tolerable, probably because I’m not feeling sick all the time now to start with.

    Hey ho.

    It was a lesson to me, as I’m always criticising my Difficult Relative for their claim to be intolerant to every drug ever made, but it seems I’m no better!
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