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Lost (and not that island thingy), please help

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Firstly, hello to all familiar names and to those new ones I was once a frequent participant at this forum. I've missed being here, but have been insanely busy.

I'll try to make this short and concise. There is a question at the end of the rant if you prefer to skip that bit.

The good stuff first:

  • Last year I moved to the UK from France
  • Moved in with my boyfriend (loving, supportive...)
  • Found a fantastic job in London that I loved
  • Got paid very well and traveled the world
  • Adored my co-workers
  • Was completely dedicated

The bad stuff:

  • My 11-yr-old son stayed behind in France (we talk daily and spend loads of time together)
  • My ex-husband became more and more difficult
  • The meds available in France don't exist in the UK
  • Doctors here are in no hurry to help

The REALLY bad stuff:

  • About 9 months ago when I began the new med regime I began having rather strong side effects
  • I gained around 50lbs in that time
  • I had trouble concentrating
  • I had noticeable tremor
  • My skin and hair became pallid and flat

The EXCEPTIONALLY bad stuff:

  • On Thursday, May 24, I was dismissed from my job because, "I just didn't fit in with the company" (my job was client facing and I look like shit)
  • No warning, no chance to say farewell, no abuse of company time or monies, just "you're dismissed as of now."

The stupid stuff:

  • I immediately quit my meds (see list below) and have fallen into the predictive state that comes with such a daft decision

What I've done:

  • Saw my MD who gave me Xenical for the weight
  • Phoned the mental health advocacy trust who referred me to other groups
  • Other groups were terribly sympathetic, but of no use (British for ,"just have a cup of tea and it will all be better")
  • Began my old habits of not eating (except Valium) and self-harm
  • Was sent to emergency only to be told, "it's a holiday weekend, why don't you phone around next week and see what you can do."
  • Pdoc will see me in July (busy man, can't come rushing to just anyone--his assistants words)
  • Got a referral to "the Priory", but the waiting list for out patients is 4 weeks

And the worst bit of all... my work permit that allows me to stay here expires 28 days from the day I was canned meaning I have to leave the country at that time with no where to go! FANTASTIC!

Question: Does ANYONE know ANYTHING about healthcare in this godforsaken country? I can afford to go private, but those doors seem to be shut too and I am on my last tiny little string of my rope and damn near out of Valium.

Thanks for listening.

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i agree wtih AM- get on Li, because it is cheap, easy to get, and VERY good in terms of effectiveness.

i was also dismissed from a job for not looking good in front of clients. at the time i was on seroquel, and i always looked stoned. everyone thought i was on drugs.

now i have the tremor, and i'm wondering what i can do about it. i already take inderal for it and it isn't helping.


i'm very sorry this happened to you. you do deserve better. and you don't want to work for a place that sucks that badly. i understand how it feels to get canned when you've done nothing except be med compliant.

good luck with the NHS. i know they have their pluses and minuses...i'm from the US and know nothing about them. i personally get free mental health care through my county. i could give you mental health resources in the US, but they're not going to do you any good obviously.


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AM and Loon, good to know you're both still here. And good to "see" you again.

Lithium is a no go for me--after what it's done I couldn't be less inclined to take it. Yep, the docs have told me to get back on it asap, but I'm holding firm for god or bad. It's 5 days now since I last took anything and to my joy my feet and ankles don't look like blobs of jello from the swelling.

A week ago my pdoc said he was going to prescribe lith citrate with lamictal in hopes that it would help... no signs of those scrips yet (as I said, they don't hurry anything over here).

Loon, did you ever consider discrimination charges for your dismissal? The patient advocacy group and British disability group say I should. But honestly, I wouldn't want me representing a company in meetings either so I'm not sure.

When I get myself pulled together I'll see if I can't become a supportive member of this forum again. It looks like it's still as wonderful as ever.

All the best,


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I'm in the UK, and have been battling with the NHS system for a couple of years. If you're happy to pm me a vague location in London, I can see what I can dig up that might be of use. Most Primary Care Trusts now have crisis teams with a psychiatrist attached who can prescribe, designed to keep people out of hospital, your GP would be able to make a referral. They might be useful, then again, they might just blow you off. Alternatively you could go back to the emergency room (lovely idea, I know) and explain that your phoning around has achieved nothing. To be honest I am not surprised that you are drawing blanks on treatment, even if it self inflicted by not taking meds, the provision for people just isn't here. Could you not go back to France pre emptively and get sorted out there?

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You could probably see a GP today today, by phoning the surgery you are registered with and explaining that it is an emergency.Then if you have any idea what you need prescribed you could explain as best you can and hope for a sympathetic ear. In my experience GPs are often good at prescribing psych drugs if the patient is an established mental health service user and and has a track record of needing x or y. And a GP should be able to pull out the pdoc's notes regarding the planned prescriptions (btw, it seems strange to me the pdoc didn't prescribe them there and then - it takes 2 minutes)? If not, just get yourself to ER, or I guess try and find a private hospital that will take you in - dunno how difficult that would be. I was in the Priory in Edgbaston, Birmingham for 2 weeks some time ago and it is a great place. I can recommend you the doctor I saw if you PM me altho I know for a fact he has moved somewhere else in the country, not sure if North or Southwards. Je vous souhait de la bonne chance!

Edit: It might take a few days for GP to get the pdocs notes and even then there might be an obstacle to prescribing the new stuff - I guess the pdoc had some reasoning for not prescribing them there and then. But maybe worth trying the GP anyway?

Also, if you claim DLA, there are all sorts of reasons why your dismissal might be classed as unfair. Even if you don't, discriminating on looks alone sounds highly dodgy to me, and might well do to the courts, although I am not au fait with the exact points of law. Worth a trip to the Citizens Advice Bureau (free)?

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Don't have any info on healthcare abroad...

Just wanted to say that I'm rooting for you and listening. I know shit has hit the fan, but this too shall pass. Hang in there and keep us posted.


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Hi Roosle,

Good to hear from you despite the travails.

What to do? Get on the lithium ASAP! The single best thing you can do to calm your mind so you can plan your next move.

Good luck with the NHS. ;)


What A.M. said.

Plus, if you ever do get to see a doctor, do get your thyroid hormone and blood sugar levels checked once you're on a stable Li dose.

Some of your "bad stuff" symptoms sound familiar.

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GP's as a rule don't see other GP's patients because they don't want to upset what the GP is doing, I don't think Roosle will have any joy in that area.

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Hi Roosle - if you're banging your head against a brick wall with the NHS, what's stopping you going private (since you say you can afford it)? I've had experience of both, but I've got to say that my experiences with the NHS have been fine...seen promptly when needed, had GPs prescribe psych meds til I can see a psychiatrist.... Anyway, that's beside the point: probably down to the part of the country one's in. I'd say if you can afford private, go for it - good as the NHS has been to me, I was even better looked after in private care.

Good luck, keep us posted


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what's stopping you going private

Angelwhore: Desperately trying to find someone out here in dreary Essex with something more than a degree in cookery and yoga. Any suggestions appreciated. I'm stunned that there is no listing in the phone book. Internet searches land on psychologists... I need psychiatrist or a combo person.

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