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  1. The fact that it bothers you, that there is a double standard, and that he isn't able to responsibly use and put back the items make it a problem in my mind. I know in some relationships people are ok borrowing things like keys, shared credit cards, or a cell phone while you are asleep, and therefore unable to ask your partner BUT, I do think it needs to be mutually established that this is okay. I don't think it's unusual either to or not to share possessions that way, it just depends on the individuals involved. Since your not okay with it, and since his use of these items is causing problems (losing them, leaving them inappropriate places), I definitely think establishing rules is a very reasonable desire.
  2. I've tried to journal in the past, but could never get into doing it on a regular basis. It always seemed weird and awkward to try to write about my day/week/moods/whatever just because had decided or been told that journaling can be helpful. I do have a small paper notebook that I'll occasionally write in when I have something I really want to get out of my head but don't have anyone at the time that I can talk to about it. Often I would write as if I were writing to my therapist, which for me sometimes helped me get my thoughts together and work up the courage to talk to him about knowing I had a piece of paper to fall back on if I needed to. Sometimes just by writing it down, it would get the distressing thoughts out of my head, and by my next appointment, it wouldn't feel as pressing. So basically, I do a very, very loose free-form sort of journaling, where I just write if I notice I'm starting to ruminate on something or really wish I could share my thoughts with someone but don't have anyone at that moment available who I trust to do so.
  3. Right now, it seems like going outside isn't what you want to be focused on. You've already made some changes to try to address the weight gain, which is excellent. While it might be useful to be able to challenge the idea that you can't go outside at your current weight, maybe something else will feel more manageable and enable you to start making progress. You say that you don't know what you would do if you were to go out right now. Maybe start there, so that when you are ready to consider going outside, you have some ideas of what to do and how to do it. I don't know what goes into creating a clothing brand, but is there something you can do there on your own, from home? You also mention being interested in writing and psychology. Is there a reason you couldn't do an online course in one of those? This could potentially give you a start towards connecting with others in person when you are ready. For example, if you take a writing course, you could later look into whether there is a local writers group you could join. Maybe you'll find after taking a class that you want to continue studying a particular subject, which is great. Otherwise, you'll learn some new information and gain some insight into what does and doesn't interest you so you can try again with something new.
  4. I would expect a therapist to contact you at some point after a missed appointment, but whether they call during the originally scheduled time or later that day (or even the next day) seems to vary. I would definitely discuss with her what your expectations/desires are regarding contact should you miss future appointments.
  5. Obviously, I can't give medical advice, but if it were me, I probably would drop back down to 300 mg and keep trying to contact your pdoc. It sounds like the headaches were bad enough to impede your functioning and if they were new and severe, I don't think I personally would try to ride them out the 4-6 weeks usually considered a fair trial. You're still able to go back up to 450 mg and try again if your pdoc does really think this is what you should do, especially if they have some recommendation for mitigating the headaches.
  6. How do you prepare for PDOC appointment

    For a new pdoc, I do pretty much what tryp does - make a list of past meds, whether/how long they worked, and the reason why I stopped them. I'll also create a brief summary of major symptoms and history of my illness. I'll also mentally prepare an explanation of what I'm hoping to accomplish. Am I relatively stable just looking to establish care with a new provider or do I have immediate needs to address? I also have a really hard time talking about suicidal thoughts, especially with someone new, so I'll try to mentally prep myself with what I need to say and talk myself into being honest about that if it's currently an issue (still not always great about that). For an established pdoc, I'll make a note of how much I've been using my PRN ativan, check my mood journal for trends in sleep or mood, think back on what the salient parts of my recent therapy sessions were to consider whether I have any new, worse, or generally unresolved symptoms (or note if I've been doing notably better). If I've had a recent change to my meds, I'll note whether it seems to be helping and to what degree, as well as any side effects.
  7. Since it sounds like you're pretty stable right now with your husband's income, being able to step back from working and building a solid track record and possibly some new skills volunteering could actually help future employability. Not to mention the fact that it sounds like you really need to do this right now for your mental wellbeing. People take time away from the workforce for so many reasons these days so that alone is often not a barrier to returning to work. Volunteering can put some space between you and the shaky work history, allow you to establish good references, and be a good way to explore types of work and work environments in which you can thrive if you do ever need to return to the workforce. If you are able to get to the point where you can say that you stepped away from the workforce X number of years ago but have done XYZ since then, and would like to return and pursue employment in a field related to XYZ, it shouldn't hurt your employability to much.
  8. It can be hard for those of us who started having symptoms at a young age because we don't really know what life without mental illness is like. I know it doesn't necessarily feel like it, but you are still pretty young and have plenty of time to build a meaningful life. Try to give your therapist another shot and emphasize that you do want help, but going outside right now feels way too hard and you need to work up to it somehow. Getting on an antidepressant will likely make things easier. I know you've mentioned that this is scary because of potential weight gain. I don't have much experience with eating disorders, so I'm not really in too much of a position to address this. I do know, however, that I've actually lost weight on medications that usually result in weight gain because by not being depressed, I'm more able to exercise regularly.
  9. Did you explain what you wrote in the second paragraph to her? It's tough because therapy requires us to do things that are uncomfortable, but everyone will need different amounts of time and need to take different steps to make changes. A good therapist should be able to look at the fact that you say your not ready to go outside, and then work backward with you on what will make you able to go outside and then create a plan to work on those things. Being depressed can also make it look like you're not willing to engage in therapy, because at least for me when I'm depressed everything seems too hard and pointless, so I end up shooting down every idea. Maybe really try to communicate with her that it's not that you're unwilling to try, but that you need some help figuring out how to start, and that you need to start somewhere simpler than going outside because that feels like too much right now.
  10. My psychiatrist

    Generally, doctors are expected (legally and/or ethically) to meet with patients at least once a year if they are prescribing meds, and most will not make more than minor changes via email/phone due to liability and the limited ability to assess patients through these manners. I know in the US there are a few places that will do telehealth (basically appointments over a secure version of Skype). The clinic I used to go to had this in order to reach some of the more rural areas where it might be 2+ hours to a town/city large enough to support much in the way of mental health services. People did have to come to their first appointment in person and maybe have occasional in-person follow-ups though. It seems pretty rare, though, and I don't know if it's an option at all in the UK, but might be worth looking for or asking about.
  11. Getting through stress

    I guess I didn't quite know what you experience. Suicidal thoughts definitely in my mind cross the line of normal stress reactions. My therapist and I establish the general guideline that suicidal thoughts lasting more than a week or any amount of active planning with intent merit a call to my psychiatrist. Sometimes there are short-term adjustments that can be made and sometimes, even when these things are a reaction to stress, it's still a sign that your regular meds aren't quite keeping a lid on everything; sometimes though we just keep tabs on things and keep pushing through. It's definitely a time to make sure you are talking to a therapist. Also, when I said that some of this is normal, I did not mean to minimize the experience. What I meant is, for me at least, it is helpful to remind myself that sometimes, what I am feeling is a normal emotional reaction and I will get through it in time.
  12. Getting through stress

    It can be useful to remember also that people without mental illnesses often experience a bit of a crash after periods of intense stress and things like low motivation, low energy, and sleep disturbances are a normal reaction to stress. If it's only lasting a week or two and you're still able to participate in necessary elements of your life and aren't experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in destructive coping mechanisms, I wouldn't think you need to be too concerned. Like paintedsky said, try to pay attention to self-care and keep in contact with your mental health care team to make sure you don't slip into a more serious episode.
  13. Before I transitioned, my dysphoria would be worse when I was depressed, which I think was partly because when your depressed, it's easy to focus on all the parts of your life that do in reality suck and then depression just makes them feel more overwhelming. f you've been consistently questioning your gender for 2.5 years, that indicates some real consistency to the feelings. While many trans people do know they don't fit their birth-assigned sex/gender very young, many others don't consider it until puberty, and others don't fully identify their feelings until they are much older than you currently are. With more publicity and awareness, people have started identifying as trans much younger, but even 10 years ago I'd say the majority of people didn't transition until their 20s or later (although many likely did question their genders from a younger age). Do you have a therapist who you feel comfortable talking to about this, both about your dysphoria itself and your fear of faking it? If you haven't already you could try packing to see if it feels right for you. You can also do other things like binding, dressing more masculinely, and getting a more masculine haircut to explore these feelings if you haven't already.
  14. I tried using a SAD lamp and it seemed to increase irritability and agitation without making me particularly manic but also didn't help much with overall mood or getting up in the morning. I do currently have an alarm clock that starts getting progressively brighter in the morning but is just normal light-bulb light. During the winter it helps me get up in the morning, not so much from really increasing my energy or anything, but it helps me consciously acknowledge that it is morning and I should be getting up despite the fact that it is still pitch-black out. I think it does help me wake up a bit more naturally too than using just a straight alarm clock.
  15. So my dad and I see the same shrink....

    I agree with the others that your mom should be the one doing the contacting for several reasons. First, you've said that this is affecting your mother primarily, so it makes sense that she would be the one to bring it up. Second, your time with your doctor should be about you and your needs, not what your mom what you to discuss. Even if you did feel the need to let your pdoc know about your father's drug abuse, I would not do it during your session. Legally, he can't acknowledge to you or your dad - or your mom for that matter - that he sees either of you as a patient, but he is allowed to listen to a family member. If you approach him, he'd likely want official permission from you to speak with your father and would have to be very, very careful about what he would and wouldn't say. With your mother, he would be freer to consider her concerns and talk to your father about them.