FEAR 2014

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Right then, where to begin. My friend’s dead. I suppose that’s worth mentioning.

Sorry, I’ll start again. I’m glib by nature but this subject demands that I try a bit harder.

Okay, this…journal isn’t really the right word but it will do for now, is the result of the sessions I’ve been having recently with a therapist called Dr Ralph Watson. He’s asked me to use a Dictaphone to augment my sessions. His words, augment my sessions. I think the idea is to encourage self-reflection, improve my fragile mental state and generally make me better.

 The sessions are for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT to those in the know (I’d heard of CBT before but didn’t actually know what on earth it was). I really wasn’t planning on getting into this. I had a plan, it’s just that this wasn’t it and now here I am in the middle of it. So, since I’m obliged to I suppose I’d best talk about how I came to be reflecting into a tape recorder.

About five weeks ago I was diagnosed as being clinically depressed and put on medication. I’m supposed to take a 10mg Citalopram tablet every day for a month to see what the impact is and then the dose will be reviewed accordingly up to maximum of 40mg.

As part of the treatment I was put on a waiting list for CBT but the NHS waiting list is six months, I kid you not. It makes you think, if people are having to wait six months just for a six week course of CBT, it’s a wonder people aren’t jumping off bridges all over the place. I don’t want to force my opinions on anyone but if people with serious depression, even suicidal thoughts, are waiting that long, well, perhaps the pathway or the funding or whatever needs looking at.

I’m paying for private sessions, that’s how I was seen so quickly. Once my mum got wind of the fact that there a genuine problem she went into maternal overdrive, insisting to my father that I couldn’t afford to wait, that it might be too late if we wait. I assume, by too late, she was thinking I might kill myself or whatever. All very dramatic. Anyway, I couldn’t let them pay, not knowing what was coming, so I stumped up out of my savings. It’s not like I’m going to need the money after this is all done.

I’m already off track. That will likely happen a lot as this journal progresses. I work for a magazine by the way, editing, but this is the first time I’ve been asked to document my own thoughts and, under the circumstances, it feels more than a bit strange.

Apologies again. I haven’t actually explained what the circumstances are. I’m not even sure I need to, or am required to.

Okay, first things first. Right now, as I record this, I’m in Lancaster at my parent’s house. I’ve been here for the last five weeks. I was coming home to confess, I want that to be perfectly clear before we go any further. A lot of things will be said, assumptions made, aspersions cast, but I wanted to make it right. As far as I’m able anyway.

As it’s always been, even the best laid plans can come unstuck and my plan, such as it was, didn’t extend beyond driving back to Lancaster and admitting my part in what happened.

I suffered a complete mental collapse.

Hmm, up until now I’ve kind of being down playing it. But now I’ve said it out loud it does sound pretty serious. Mental collapse.

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