Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PHP Day 2

Arrived early because I was supposed to drive my daughter to school first, but she wasn't feeling well so I let her stay home. Got tired of waiting around at home, so I drove over to the hospital to wait around there. Each day they post a list on one of the doors that tells you which room to go to for the first group of the day, goals group. I couldn't remember where the door was so I looked around for someone that might know. Didn't see any staff, but I saw a guy with a folder like mine (only his was stuffed with papers) so I figured he'd been there awhile and would know where to look for this door.

He was a really nice gentleman and showed me where the door was, but they hadn't posted the list yet. We headed to the cafeteria, sat down and started talking. Turns out he's a huge music fan like I am and even though he's older than me, he liked a lot of the stuff he saw on my iPod. Soon we were joined by 4 other guys. I was okay talking one on one with the first guy, but could feel my anxiety swelling as the others joined our table.

It's strange, I can do one on one with just a little bit of nervousness at the start and quickly become comfortable as long as I find the other person interesting. Or I like to be in a crowded area, even if I don't know a single person, because I can get lost among the sea of bodies. It's stressful, but I can usually survive without having a panic attack...unless it's Walmart, and that's a whole other story.

It's the small groups of people that have the greatest negative impact on me. When I got to the room I was supposed to be in for goals group, there were only about 10-12 of us and I was in full blown panic mode. I couldn't breathe and wanted to run out of the room, but figured if I tried standing up I'd pass out.

First thing they did was go over the guidelines of the program. They had the patients reciting the ones they remember, with long pauses in between. We all fucking get a sheet that has the guidelines on it, either just have one person quickly run down the list or don't bother with it. They waste valuable time doing it the way they are and it really fucking annoyed me. If they do it again tomorrow, I'm going to speak up.

Next they went around the room and everyone read what goal they wanted to work on for the day and how they plan to do that. We also had to rate our mood from the previous afternoon, later in the evening and what it was right then. Sleeping, eating and energy were also rated. I quickly read the goals sheet when they got to me and told them I was having a panic attack. The staff running the group didn't seem to care, they just moved on to the next person.

I was so panicked that I haven't a clue what they talked about after everyone read their goal sheets. The woman next to me brought up some topic she wanted to discuss and all I remember was her crying the whole time and some other guy doing far too much talking. My focus was on getting the hell out of there so I basically just stared at the clock.

After that was a group on Assertiveness. Didn't learn anything I didn't already know. Then it was lunch, which I skipped and either they didn't notice, didn't care or just ignored me. Lunch was followed by a group called Victim/Survivor. I was mortified when I read the name, thinking I was going to have to listen to someone's traumatic story, but they just went over what types of statements each makes and what a healthy medium between the two looks like.

Then came Expressive Therapy. Since I did art yesterday, they expected me to stay where I was for "movement" therapy. I refused, went to the bathroom and then went to the art room. I thought for sure the woman was going to call a code because I refused to leave the room. I told her I had no interest in moving anything and that I wanted to do art. She called someone on the phone about it, but I don't know who it was. As far as I know, I haven't yet been assigned a case worker, or at least none have come to talk to me. She then let me stay. It's not like the room was crowded or anything, there were only six patients, including myself.

I'm so thinking that agreeing to do this group therapy crap was a big mistake. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to go in for a mammogram and I'm not sure if I should go to any of the groups or not. I'd only miss the second one, and I'd be back before lunch was over. Guess it's something I have to think over and decide by 9 am tomorrow.

Someone from the mental health center called my home while I was at the hospital. Not sure if he was calling about a new therapist or if he was calling about the PHP program they run. I left a message for him to call me back, and then I called and left one with the therapist that just dumped me. I really need to know when I'll be back in individual therapy or if I'm screwed and will be without a therapist for awhile. I'm not thrilled about starting over from square one, but anything has got to be better than these groups.


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