Should I phone for counselling? Please answer considering all the facts - because I am unsure.

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all,

Yes, I have helped many people on these forums - but now it is 'role-reversal' and it is me in the wrong. Well, I think it is... I have tried to keep this as short as possible, many areas of my life are missing - in 2 cases I nearly died from the inside-out, whereby part of my intestines turned gangrene and I have also had Testicular Cancer and lost both of my parents in the past decade.

I have never posted on here before under Depression for myself, but I have been hiding the real truth for many years. It may sound stupid, but I have even given people advice on depression and never let on what was underlying in my own life, not to anyone. However, last Monday I went in to “meltdown” – a complete breakdown, not just in front of my wife but two of my children as well.

What happened on that evening has never hit me before, it was worse than I had ever expected! My wife had gone shopping with my daughter, I was sat at my desk just literally watching the seconds go by, waiting for them to return. At the same time the anger within me, was just building up even more.

I heard the car pull up on the drive, waited until they both got in the bungalow, and then I just ‘exploded’ with shear anger at my wife, firing everything I could think of, and blaming her all for it. After that, I said I am going out and not returning because I am not needed here. Even worse I mentioned jumping off the bridge down the road from us, bearing in mind my son and daughter had heard it all. Everyone was shouting at me to calm down “all I wanted to do was leave the bungalow”!

After a while I calmed down but was an emotional wreck. My wife asked what was so wrong – so I told her.

I said I was fed up with my life of being disabled, being a burden on people, not being able-bodied enough to do hardly anything, and life being just doing the same 24/7 routine, (sleep, eat, go on the computer, very rarely go out, have meals, back to bed at nights and then it all starts over again!). It is a living recurring nightmare, day in, day out…! Then on top of it all, I have to put up with muscle spasms, cramps, swollen legs, ankles and feet, the Cervical Dystonia is so painful and the Generalised Dystonia can be that bad that I cannot even touch my legs without feeling pain.

The Dystonia affects the nervous system, while in many cases this can be all it is, there are other ailments that derive from it, namely Epilepsy and Functional Episodes, and to top it off there is the irritable bowel syndrome.

I went to see my doctor on Tuesday, but she was unavailable, so I had to see a locum. I even broke down in front of him, in my wheelchair – on that day, he said try and calm down and book an appointment for Thursday. I went back to see him on that day, he prescribed Sertraline 50mg one a day and suggested I talk to a counsellor – he gave me 2 places I could call.

One Sunday dinnertime my mother-in-law came around, and she mentioned something, which I was sure she was wrong, so I told her different. After that, she carried on, and I could feel myself becoming more and more agitated as she went on. I am not normally like this, which makes no sense to me, I ‘exploded’ on the previous Monday evening, and that feeling was starting all again. My wife stepped in and said calm down and asked if I was crying. Then my mother-in-law spoke saying something along the lines of you cannot be crying over that, believe me crying was the last thing on my mind, I could feel myself becoming more agitated the more she said, so I said “for God’s Sake!”, then she got on her high horse. If she had of said one more word, I think I would have lost it again! So, I moved away from her, and closer to the hallway to get away from her. The last time I lost control was on that Monday evening, and I was trying to avoid that – and she was talking about the causes of depression, which I did not want to hear from her.

I managed to calm down, I have only been taking Serteline since Wednesday, so it is early days – what I wanted to know was should I phone a counsellor sooner rather than later! I am normally such a placid person, and never felt so enraged as I was on that Monday evening. I do not wish to harm anyone or myself, even though in the past I was asked if I had suicidal tendencies, and I said ‘No’ – it should have been ‘yes’ but at the time all I was suffering from was emotional breakdowns and hiding them. My wife as already said that if a repeat performance ever happened like last Monday, then she would call the Police.

BTW, I am disabled (I know this may sound stupid!), and take over 30 medications a day – split over 4 periods. I have changed in many ways, mentally over the past year, which makes me think it is medicine related rather than just mentally.



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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Les

    so sorry to hear about your circumstances right now. I am of the view that it is medication interactions that's making you feel this way. Settling down on an antidepressant is hard in itself and usually takes a few weeks to stabilise. But if you are taking over 30 medications daily then it's vitally important that all these med are checked out for possible adverse interaction with sertraline. My thoughts are your experiencing severe depression (eg anger,tears etc) and now having to adjust to sertraline and possible interaction with some of your other drugs.

    Try explaining to your family how unwell you are feeling and that you will get another appointment with your doctor to iron out some of the concerns especially side effects and interactions of the drugs you are taking.

    It may be good for them to look up a page on depression too. It's so hard for others to uunderstand what a day in our shoes is like.

    i hope you have recovered from your other illnesses. really have been through the wringer.

    god bless you Les. .stay strong

    hugs to you

    Lorraine xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying Lorraine,

      I have booked a 15 minute appointment with my main Neurologist Consultant, because he mentioned he did not like me being on Tramadol 200mg and Amitriptyline 20mg (for pain relief), because these two drugs can cause seizures, both Epileptic and Functional Episodes. In the past month I have been rushed into hospital 4 times, one session just over a week ago, I had 9 seizures in the space of 2 hours which even with me, is totally abnormal. They tried to remove Tramadol but  side-effects from the new medication they added before trying to take me off them, made me feel really ill.

      Cancer, I was signed out of the remission period in March - even that was not easy. Just before last Christmas I was having tests for Prostate Cancer, this was given the all clear in February, it took longer because a polyp was found, luckily it was benign.

      I am on the highest dosage of Sodium Valproate of 2,000mg a day, any higher and they have to be changed.

      Madopar I take about 70mg a day, for Dystonia - but on top of this is 6 BoTox Injections every 10 weeks done by a Neurologist.

      They try to not change medications drastically, because of the ccomplexity and reactions.

      Is there any benefit from talking to a counsellor, I have never phoned one before, but at the moment my head is all over the place. The doctor I seen said he will see me again in 2-3 weeks, which is fine - I noticed Sertraline has some pretty potent side-effects, so I have stopped drinking anything with caffeine in it.

      I wish life was a lot easier, instead of getting worse - the things that go through my mind are just negative all the time.

      I am grateful for your input regarding the medication, my main ones can only be changed by my Neurologist at the moment, which is not until early January 2016.



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    • Posted

      Hi Les

      my goodness your in a difficult situation as January is a way away.

      Lots of people recommend counselling and are of the view it really helps. Personally it's not for me. I tried cognitive behavioural therapy which although good was nothing i didn't already know. To me things will be easier to accomplish when my depression has lifted. in your case i think counselling would be very good for you. You gave experienced so much trauma which most people will not experience in a lifetime. Our brains try and make sense of everything we experience but the level of trauma you have endured has made this task tricky for your brain to digest/accept and adapt. In your shoes i would 100% go for counselling. Post traumatic stress is something that will be hard to shift without professional support.

      here for you at anytime

      Lorraine x

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  • Posted

    Oh, I feel so much for you. I recognise your anger symptoms but I have much less reason to be angry as you have. Stress, anxiety and depression cause all sorts of reactions that we would not have in normal situations. Its only my opinion but I think you should get as much help as possible. Counselling from a professional and seeing your doctor, emergency appointment if things are desperate. I hope and pray that you get the help you need asap. Thinking of you with love.
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  • Posted

    Yes, Les, I most definitely think you should get some sort of talking therapy. 

    I am so sorry to hear how bad things are for you, it must be terrible to have to put up with so many physical problems.....I would be amazed if you weren't depressed.  I think you are very brave. 

    I will keep you in my thoughts and look forward to hearing how things go.  Stay positive and strong.

    Pat xxx

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  • Posted

    Hello Les, I am sorry to hear that you have to deal with lots of medical problems. I can understand your frustration about not being able to do the things you would like to. I have partial dissability and have no support and live alone. I also get frustrated that i am unable to do things that others take for granted. It sounds like you have a supportitive family who love you, maybe they find it very difficult to understand what you are going through. I think counselling may help you as you seem to have some anger inside which can be a symptom of depression. Counselling is non judgemental and confidential. Sometimes it's difficult to talk to our close ones as they are too emotionally involved. 



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  • Posted

    Hi Les,

    I am sorry to hear the problems that you have and have indirect experience through nursing  my father for most of last year, and actually 30 different medications in the interval period, given the conditions you have is not stupid !

    I re-developed epilepsy when I was 35, and through no apparent reason that I was under a lot of pressure from my Director at work. In fact I do blame him for the re-occurance in view of the returns on the blood test on the first event.

    If you are on this level of medications and the variety you describe this can trigger all sorts of side effects.  One particular drug that I was on that was supposed to keep the nervous system under control whislt I slept, actually turned out to clash with another of the drugs I was taking to keep me clear during my waking ours.

    I woke up one morning, but found I could not open my eyes or move,indeed scream;  the only thing that made me realise that I was not dead, was the fact that I could hear noise in the background. 

    I made an emergency appointment with my Neurologist and after a blood test he agreed that the drug (wonderfully named) Clobazam (Rivotril); was clashing with the drug Lamotrogine.  I was switched over to Clonazepam ( a sister drug) and I have not had a problem since relating to the sleep issue.  A tweak in the Levacitrium has now meant that the issues is now (I hope) fully controlled.

    To that end I would certainly challange the Doctor relating to the amount of medication that you are on as what you describe sounds a hell of a lot for a blood stream to handle; not to mention the vital organs.

    You can always ask for a referall and if you get any nonesense out of the Health Service about timing and delays, write to your MP and a copy to the Minister for Health  Rt. Hon. Simon Burns MP.

    Mr Burns is the MP for my constituency and although the issues raised with him  not related to the health service, but with the DWP, I have found him very effective. He responds very quickly and  I am sure that he would be able to apply pressure to get your referall dates brought forward. 

    I would suggest that you write to him at the House of Commons, Westminster London SW1A 0AA, I beleive that he has an e-mail address, but I think in this case a registered letter would be acted upon even quicker.

    I wish you every luck and if you need any support speak to your Social  Services Manager and the Regsitrar of the Hospital you attend.

    Certainly leave a message on here for me if you need my support.


    Chris R


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    • Posted

      Hi Chris R,

      I actually take Clonazepam and Orphenadrine, but they are for Dystonic problems mostly, plus they help with Epilepsy. I have been on them years.

      The trouble with being on so many medications is if just one is taken away then the side-effects from the other medications increase. They try adding new painkillers in to the equation, but this had side-effects with another medication I was on. In my case, it is a real nuisance trying to get off one drug and replace it with another, then gradually remove the new drug. With me, it is a very complex case all medications are checked before prescribing them.

      In some I even suffer from the rare side-effects, and these are very dangerous with Epilepsy or Functional Episodes.

      I never get problems with seeing one of the Neurologist team, but if I want to see the British President of Neurology, then I do not expect an appointment very quickly, he works for the NHS, Private and also Lectures in London, but lives in Bristol.

      I have had problems with the DWP in the past, and they are some nasty people (putting it politely! ) - they do not even accept their own headed paper has written confirmation, when we said we had 5 copies with varying dates the guy said oh they were probably sent out in error. It was so obvious he was lying he made long pauses before talking more.



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  • Posted

    I've removed the argumentative thread as predicted. I did not read it in detail but please do not get into debates like this. If there is an issue let me know rather than taking discussions off topic. I had actually deleted the first post so not sure why there was a need to reply and exacerbate this. Anyone can post anywhere in the forums as long as they do not breach the T&Cs and it is clearly stated that posts are users own opinions. It is not up to any user to question why another user posts. If there is any issue in the forums use the Report link or contact me.



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    • Posted

      Thank you Alan. Yes you are quite right I should of left it with you. I was just so shocked as I have always seen kind and we'll thought out responses. I certainly won't get into another debate like this plus it was not a good experience for the person needing advice.

      In future I will just flag you for your views.



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    • Posted

      With due respect Moderator, if you did not read the reply in full, just because your read the opening thread made the assumption that he was deliberately being argumentative, is that not defeating the object of these boards?

      The whole point is discussion and that some time leads to argument in the form of debate is to clarify the other person's point of view.

      Without malice aforethought.

      Chris R


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  • Posted

    Hello Les.

    so sorry to read you are feeling so bad,  you have done so much to help people on here and apart from telling us of what physically ails you have not mentioned how your mental state is.  You come over as being so strong, I often wondered how you managed - put it down to such good family support.  I guess your family are also used to you being strong and your outburst will have come as a shock to them. They will not however understand how low frustrated and at times so wretched you will at times feel.  Turning into the 60s decade does not help, it is a time to slow down and look forward to retirement,  ohhhh if only, if only you could retire from the many years you have suffered, if only you could now think about doing all the things that other retired folk do,  if only.

    Les,  you do need to talk to someone, I hope you have been able to by now,  I have only just seen your thread -  I am way behind ( nought new there)   I hope you have found someone who will listen and not just give you platitudes,  I hope you can pour out all the frustrations you feel, the inadequancies the anger and the loss of life and living that you have suffered - not death of others -  the life you have not been able to live.  

    Very best wishes Les,  I hope you are able to get several unhurried sessions of being able to talk out all the years of the various emotions that have built up while you were so busy keeping busy and your mind occupied.  

    Warmest regards

    Jessie xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Jessie,

      Thank you for replying, ironically you have the same name as my youngest daughter.

      You are correct about I have always come across as a strong person, regardless of what was going on in my head. My family were very shocked to hear what had happened, they all said the same thing, that I have always come across as a strong person.

      What happened on that Monday evening, even shocked me, probably because it has never happened before in my life.

      My daughter went through a really bad time earlier this year when her friend was killed in a boat accident - at the time she was only 14 and it was in most of the national newspapers, so regardless of where she went, reminded her of her friend whom she had only spoken to the day before. As you can imagine she had a major breakdown and counselling in school, because the girl had a really happy, go lucky personality - the streets were lined with so many people on the day of her funeral. All this happened back in March - but we still remember it like yesterday. Lately, the dad that was driving the boat at the time, it came out why the girl drowned, her life-jacket which normally saves lives actually got caught so she was basically pinned down under the sea by 20ft, people tried in vain to rescue her but it was too late.

      We are a very close 'knitted' family, we have taught our children to be open about anything, which does seem ironic coming from me and my recent outburst.

      I have been on Sertraline for about 3 weeks now, I feel much better than I was but on the odd occassion, not very often I have emotional breakdowns over such stupid little things. I got to see my doctor again next week, he gave me a months supply - but I am on Amitriptyline, but that was prescribed for pain at bedtime, even though it is an antidepressant as well. I was hoping to see my doctor this week, but when things go wrong in our house it is always major, we can never plan anything. Monday came, I needed an urgent Dentist appointment so I managed to get one for midday. But my wife  also needed to take my daughter to see the doctor, appointment was made at 8.45am - we thought cool we can do all that easily (wishful thinking...).

      My wife took my daughter to the doctors, and phoned the school to inform them, that Jess would be arriving a little later due to a Doctors appointment, but she got held up in the doctors because they were running late by 45 minutes! The doctor sent her prescription to the pharmacy, but their computers were down. So, they had to go back to the doctors to get a printed prescription, another 30 minutes wait! My wife got Jessie's prescription and mine because they are Class 'A' drugs for pain. Then she had to take Jessie to the hospital, she got there and they were asked if they had an appointment booked, and because they didn't, it was another 2 hours before she could be seen! My wife phoned me saying what had happened and there was no way of getting me to the Dentist by 12pm, I thought okay and phoned the dentist telling them I could not make the 12pm appointment, and could they fit me in later - the answer was we are now fully booked!! So, I booked a new dentist appointment for Tuesday at 10.30am - got there and gawd was I in pain. I had a dentist appointment last Friday, 3 bottom teeth removed a full plate put in - after the anaesthetic wore off I was in pain, but I put it down to the 5 injections and stiches I had done. But by friday evening the pain got worse, and the gum had become swollen and pushed the bottom plate up, so I had to take it out, even though I was told to leave it in for at least 48 hours! I assumed the pain would go off and the swelling would go down - but, no - nothing is that simple! I had to remove my top plate because that was hitting the swollen gum at the bottom. I thought this is getting silly I couldn't eat hardly anything. unless it was easy to swollow. So, I attended the dentist yesterday and the dentist said you should have come in before!! lol  I had a major infection in the gum and there was part of my jaw bone in it, so it was preventing it from healing. Today, it feels so much better - I got another dentist appointment on Friday, so I have to leave out both dentures until then! The Dentist phoned me while I been typing this, as a reminder for They do the reminder service because of the amount of missed appointment per month, which used to be over 100. It is the only dentist I can use in the area, because they deal with patients that are disabled in anyway and on many medications.

      Eventhough we claim benefits, my wife is always around 24/7 - and as you can see a few days in my life is surrounded by appointments, lately more seizures and hospitalized, so the hospital have moved all my neurology appointments from January to December.

      I do agree with you though, I probably need counselling - my doctor said to write down everything thats going through my head at the moment, I am already on page 4, and still have things I haven't put down, yet.

      The ironic thing about it all is my eldest boy 25, he is on an apprenticeship to become an Electrician, Plumber and Gas Registered Engineer - in my early 20's, I was working as a Prototype Thermocouple Developer for digital thermometers. I used to show my eldest son, how to build various things like radios, etc and how to do plumbing. Back then they did not have all the health and safety regulations in place. Jess is very creative and loves art, I used to draw and paint years ago, but when the Dystonia kicked in, I could no longer do such tasks.

      Retirement - I wish that was reality, sadly with progressive disorders thats not the case. It would be a nice thought, but as we all know, probably not in our lifetime.... I read that the word 'Depression' is the most looked up word on Google in health conditions. Just proves how many of us there really is...

      All the best..


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