*Please be aware that this post has content about self harm, and may be sensitive to in nature to read. 

So – As you may or may not know, I’ve been clinically diagnosed with Major Depressive Mood Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Predominantly Inattentive Type), Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and most recently – Bipolar Depression II.

….dang.  

That was a mouthful.

Now, I had always felt that I was different ever since I was a little girl. Little did I know, was that a gumbo of mental illness was stewing in me, that would later show to be the reason for my irrational fear of being around a crowd of unfamiliar faces. Or literally being completely content one minute, to crying uncontrollably the next. I had no doubt been experiencing depression as early as 10 years old, but I didn’t quite understand the whirlwind of intense emotions or what to do about it – so I did the only thing I thought I had control over, which was inflicting pain unto myself until I had enough. This spiral of depression and self harm continued on and off throughout my life, but the latter had been under control for the better part of 4 years, or so I thought…

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My 8 year old tattoo I got in an attempt to cover up the scars

Fast forward to November 9th when I went to an appointment with a new psychiatrist, and she immediately intervened and recommended that I go to the partial hospitalization program (PHP). Her concern was due to fact that I was sitting in her office with bloody wrists, tears in my eyes, sadness in my heart, and confusion in my mind. In short: I was a hot mess and in desperate need of help. My doctor informed me that the program would teach me coping mechanisms, much better than the destructive ones I was currently using. The only “catch” was that the program was structured in that of a group therapy program. So that meant I had to interact with complete strangers about my emotions, and personal issues. Not to mention my mental issues…”I don’t know about this doc”.

Structure of the PHP groups…therapist included!

The program would involve both CBT and DBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectal Behavior Therapy. CBT is learning how our thoughts about an experience or an event affects our emotional, behavioral and physical responses, and how to respond accordingly. During these sessions, the therapist would lead the group in various exercises that slowly taught us how to identify and change the way we feel, by first learning how to change the way we think. Sounds simple enough if you have any common sense, right? But when you suffer from mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, you often time have to deal with various thought distortions, which can make it difficult to respond to situations appropriately. CBT also taught me how to be more mindful and in the moment, instead of focusing and ultimately stressing over things that haven’t even came to pass yet. Mindfulness was practiced in PHP with yoga, meditation and other exercises.

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Meditating at a pop up yoga event

DBT focuses on strengthening ones’ ability to handle distress without acting destructively or losing control. These groups were led by practicing vital skills such as distress tolerance, interpersonal skills and emotion regulation. All things needed to have effective and constructive relationships in the world. In essence – I was relearning how to assess my emotions, and develop healthy habits and communication skills. After the intense 5 week program came to an end, I can honestly say that I checked out stronger, wiser and definitely more confidant than I’d ever felt in my LIFE. During my stay at the program, I would also meet with my psychiatrist about twice a week to adjust my various meds as I was starting to feel better. Everything was so organized and detailed, the staff provided a safe haven for broken people looking pick up the pieces and start again. The PHP gave me the tools needed to better understand my mental illnesses, and how to cope appropriately when I feel trapped inside my own mind. The road to recovery for me starts now.


– Jasmine JeNay ✨

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3 thoughts on “My Stay At A Partial Hospitalization Program…

  1. I don’t know what to say. MOMMY LOVES U SOOOOO MUCH MOOKY‼💗😘 You are such a beautiful and strong young woman‼~Love, Mommy😇

  2. I’m so glad you were able to get help at a program. My daughter who is now 19 has major depression disorder, mild social anxiety, mild PTSD and the best one separation anxiety, but only from me. She can handle going to stay at a friends for the night, because she knows I can and will always come and get her. But even though she has thought about going into a program, even just a 72 hour one when she has had bad breakdowns and thought she might be better off dead, the thought that she would not be allowed to call/text/see me whenever she needed too freaked her out even worse, yet also snapped her back to reality in a way. It makes her accept that she must learn to leave with her issues and not give in to them. She even gave up on her grandfather paying for her college’s humanities study abroad program for summer of 2018. When I questioned her she admitted that when she pictures the famous places in Europe, she always pictures them with me.

    Due to her social anxiety growing up she had few friends and none were very close, so I became her best friend. Now as an adult we have become closer. She still lives at home, she’s not quite driving yet, still a bit to anxious, though I did get her to practice for about 30 minutes last Friday, our relationship has deepened. Both her and my son who is 12 going on 20, lol with his own mental health issues, are very close to me as a single parent and tell me everything about their lives. I knew the night my daughter had her first crush, same for her first kiss. When she had a boyfriend and was considering having sex for the first time she asked me about intimacy and how to show him she is ready. Once she did have sex, which was this past summer, she came and talked to me about it within 3 days. All my kids friends have always labeled me as the cool mom, because I let the kids have things like a Halloween party at my house. It got me a cleaner house then before, lol. But I always had one major rule, don’t talk bad about your parents in my home. I lost my mother at 18 and our last words weren’t “I love you” and I wish they were. So with that as the biggest rule and the fact that unless the kid was planning on self harm or running away, I kept their secrets. I’m digressing here, but anyway, have you ever heard/read/met anyone who has depression, anxiety, Oppositional defiant disorder, social anxiety, or separation anxiety and other mental health issues as a child due to PTSD from almost having their only parent die. Then when the parent does live, life has done a 180 as now the parent who used to bike ride and go camping is now disabled, in pain 24/7, taking medication that upsets and messes with the appetite. Uses a back brace and a cane for short amounts of walking but must be in a wheelchair for things like going to the mall. Where you now have a parent that you might be having a day where you need to be cuddled, but the parent is having a Fibromyalgia flare and hurts so bad you can’t even touch them and they are so medicated that sleep is what you want for your mother, but your mental issues are screaming that you need your mother to hold you and tell you everything is going to be okay.
    I’m sorry for such an off topic comment, but your post opened a lot in me head. Thank you ahead of time for taking the time to read this.

    1. Thank you so much for reading Deana, and thank you even more for opening up and sharing your personal situation. You are an awesome mother, and I commend you for supporting your daughter while she’s dealing with her mental health issues. Keep working with her, and encouraging her to join the program. Perhaps the consign of her therapist will help with getting the process started sooner rather than later. I’m glad my article sparked some things to think about, feel free to chime in anytime. I’d love to hear more from you! ❤️

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