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Interview 17

Age at interview: 35
Brief Outline: Current medication includes Seroxat, Zyperxa (olanzapine), Lamactil (lamatrigine). Is grappling with building friendships and what he wants to do in life. He has found one kinesiologist in particular to be very helpful.
Background: Currently not working, is living with his father. He endured bullying at school, and in the 90s, his mother died from cancer. He battles depression and anxiety. (including de-personalisation)

More about me...

 

Was worried and sickly as a child, and then when he went into secondary school he was bullied and...

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When I was say perhaps about four or five, six I used to feel quite... well I can just vaguely... hazily sort of record, quite sort of being worried. I mean I remember the first day I went to primary school, I remember I burst out into tears and so on. And but I'm sure I think I soon got over it. And that was that. But whilst you're in primary school I had quite a lot of colds, and used to have to be off school quite a bit which of course did not help.... like didn't help. 

And then sor... that was like from the age of five through til eleven. And then [sighs] the real problem came when I was aged eleven and then sort of twelve, I can't... it's when I went to secondary school. And, it was not a very... well it was sort of as far as schools go, it was alright, but I mean it was in my home area near [name of area], where I still live today. I mean I've lived here all my life, and sort of, as I still do, you see, but school, or the secondary school I went to wasn't a particularly pleasant place, it was full of sort of, bullies and well, I don't like to say thugs, but some of the other children I say were at that time. 

I've been thinking quite a lot about this of late, were quite unpleasant people. They were quite you know, it was all sorts of names under the sun and I used to be called queer and gay for no particular reason. And or bender and all sorts of, you know, hurtful things like that. And for no particular reason and you know, and it really hurt.

 

Describes his loneliness and isolation, and feeling cut off from people, especially with no...

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I mean I....certainly suffer from loneliness and isolation, I often feel cut off from the world. Which is not, you know, that pleasant or nice really, because as I've probably said, I don't have any other family, like brothers and sisters, and I don't you know have any other family around like aunts and uncles, well I do, but they're not in our area, or in my area. And so I feel, often feel cut off, and so I've got no one else to talk to or turn to, - follow what I mean.

 

Finds it difficult to describe how he felt before his depression was diagnosed.

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I left school age sixteen, which was in 19 [coughs] excuse me, which was in 1984.

And after that I really felt quite, I don't know...  really, it's hard to describe looking back at it now. But I felt quite sort of, sort of unwell and as if I couldn't really.... I didn't have much confidence in doing anything, or in going on to do anything.

And I did go to a college, in [name] at the time, the September of that year. But, I felt it was all a bit sort of large and a bit, kind of, it made me feel rather panicky and you know, sort of nervous. And after that I then went into a sort of a kind of a I suppose, what I can only really call a long kind of ... sort of there were quite a few years of feeling off.

And what really later became sort of anxiety, depression, feeling tense and nervous, stress, feeling bothered by people [laughs]. And I did, after a few years, in about 1987, see a psychiatrist, a coloured fellow, an Indian sort of gentleman, called Dr [name], and I saw him at home for about a year or so.

 

His GP has demonstrated she understands how he feels, even though his dad does not.

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It's sort of hard going because [clears throat] my dad said to my doctor, Dr [name], he said, "Oh you know, I don't like [participant's name]'s hours". Just because I mean, I do stay in bed until quite late in the morning.... about usually about elevenish or so because I do feel quite achy and sore round the back and shoulders, and quite sort of achy and not perhaps pained but achy and sore. And when I do get up I feel all sort of odd feelings in the head, and so on, which they do wear off a bit later in the day though. But, so I mean at the moment I'm really taking every day, each day as it comes really [laughs] you see but'

But certainly Dr [name] my GP, she, as I say, she has been very helpful, and knows how I feel as I say and sort of says, "Well you've just got to sort of battle on with it really", and sort of - that's it. And like my dad says to her, "Oooh well you know", cos he's sort of frustrated that I'm not getting anywhere as I say, and she says to him, "Well you know you've got to be patient [father's name]." She says to him, "Because you know [participant's name] will take it one step at a time with how he's feeling." Which, you know I do, or I try to. And sort of that, that's it really.

 
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Saw psychiatrists in London after dissatisfaction with local psychiatrists, who ruled out...

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But in the last year or so, as well as the sort of the depression and anxiety yes, and I've been going to the [name of hospital], for about five years now, since 1998 in fact, after the doctors locally, and the local psychiatrists as I say [slight laugh] weren't sort of up to much really I, somehow felt. .... I did think I had Schizophrenia, but I saw a professor [name], at the [hospital] and he said that I haven't got that condition, schizophrenia. And I thought, "Have I got manic depression or any other things?" I think he said well, I haven't really. 

 

He felt he got better care at a London-based outpatients clinic compared with local services.

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But in the last year or so, as well as the sort of the depression and anxiety yes, and I've been going to the [name] hospital, for about five years now, since 1998 in fact, after the doctors locally, and the psychiatrists as I say weren't sort of up to much really. I somehow felt.... I did think I had schizophrenia, but I saw a Professor [name], at the [hospital], and he said that I haven't got that condition, or schizophrenia. And I thought, "Have I got manic depression or any other things?" I think he said well, I haven't really.

 

While feeling very isolated, he has found a friend through a chronic fatigue (ME) support group.

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But in the last year I have joined a Depression Alliance group. I've certainly done much more than I used to as I say, and they... that was over in sort of [area name] which is sort of near.... nearby. They've helped somewhat and I've also joined an ME support group, at which I've met a nice young lady who's actually just got married. But, called [name], and, [name] her name now [name] I think her name. But and she too you know.... she's quite unwell and she's seen a professor, not the same professor I saw, and has told her that you know she's an outpatient at the moment the same as I am, but she'll have to go in as an inpatient if she gets any worse you see or... Which I... I hope not of course for her sake. And but so I saw her a few months ago, that was like this year, 2003, but I haven't seen her of late because she doesn't want to take any phone calls and but we will be keeping, I will be keeping in touch with her. So I have at least sort [laugh] of found a friend in her, but as I say [clears throat] the problem really you know I have a quite a few issues at the moment of not having any real company.

 

Still struggling with recovery, he finds it difficult to live with his symptoms day-to-day, and...

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I mean, as I say I find living at the moment, what I would call living of course... Quite tricky at the moment, really as I've already, you know, I said now before because [clears throat]. I mean, I have to take it, as I say, day to day really now. Day and night time too of course, but mostly in the daytime because of how I'm feeling or.... Or not knowing how I'm going to feel, that's the trouble. You know I often think, oh, what am I doing, and although it sounds rather dark, sort of wh- what am I doing in the world? You know and what is the purpose, what is the point of, say this, what is exactly going on, but you know, in some ways we all have to know that. What are we here for? And what are we doing? And what are we getting out of it? And so on, but th- you know then in living like what are we getting out of... like from it? 

But, [sighs] I feel that you know as I've already said that, you know, with my depression and anxiety and the ME as well, or possible ME until I've seen, hopefully, a specialist or some.... which as I say I'm waiting for. I think. It's sort of knowing what to do about it really because, it certainly doesn't make living easy with all these symptoms and feeling sort of off as I sort of call it you see. And sort of, knowing how to sort of go on you know every day can seem rather samey as I've already said, you know, it's another day and then, sort of a night, and so on.

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