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F###ing Crisis team my arse


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I just need to rant...

I've had a massive downward spiral low these past two days and this pm I really was panicking , feeling i couldn't make it till tomo morning, when my psych could get back to me as she was on the wards all day today.

Anyway, i rang the crisis team at the mental hospital and ..f###, they are c####. I was crying, in total despair and they just said I was making their job harder for them! I didn't say one slightly abusive thing to them and even if i had, you would have thought they would understand that people call them because they are distressed! I refused to say whether i was suicidal or not and they said they couldn't help if i didn't tell them! Luckily, i got hte names of these two idiots. I was particularly annoyed as the supposed qualified nurse was not great on the English Language front and kept on saying we had to face the business - whatever that meant.

I put the phone down on them. No point. They just said, take some more valium and come and talk to us in the hospital. As if i want to even talk to them in person after that terrible experience on the phone. I did take the Val. No difference.

Shit.

It terrifies me as I am in pain but I can articulate. What happens when i can't and i am at the mercy of people who haven't even been trained to deal with people who are upset.

V depressing.

It really is a dog eat dog world out there. Get on the right medication and stay strong - it's the only way.

It scares me that i might one day be sectioned and have to deal with them.

god, this world is beyond hard.

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I refused to say whether i was suicidal or not and they said they couldn't help if i didn't tell them!

Why didn't you answer the question? It's not a game. They needed to know, in order to help you.

not to put words into the mouth of the OP, but from my experience, Ive been suicidal but will not act on it, if that makes any sense. Answering the question with 'yes' means they treat the situation differently than if you say 'no' (yes = cops, no =a nice chat), but saying 'no' is lying and doesnt convey the seriousness of the situation.

Amy10, Im sorry you had such a bad experience. Im in a different country, but I've not had much better a time of it when Ive called crisis lines, both for myself, and for my at-the-time partner. Their general attitude was 'eh, get to a hospital, they'll deal with it', which is pretty unhelpful. I'm high functioning in all but my worst moments, so I shudder to think what it must be like for someone with less emotional/mental resources trying to navigate the system here ;)

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I refused to say whether i was suicidal or not and they said they couldn't help if i didn't tell them!

Why didn't you answer the question? It's not a game. They needed to know, in order to help you.

Of course it isn't a game. they had been really rude initially. I was just immensely distressed and nothing could make me sleep (Valium/alcohol)and closing my eyes just made me panic, freeze, go into a hallucinatory hell, you name it, whenever i did feel mildly dozey. It's hard for me to explain by email how two people can be really dismissive and rude and make you clam up. I.e. my thought was if I go there, I will talk to anyone but them. I can't show them by vulnerabilities as they were so dismissive of the fact that I said I was v distressed. So when we finally got to the questionnaire on the phone, I said, I am v distressed, so distressed that i can't wait till tomorrow, but i don't want to talk about suicidal feelings. That's all. It didn't help.

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I refused to say whether i was suicidal or not and they said they couldn't help if i didn't tell them!

Why didn't you answer the question? It's not a game. They needed to know, in order to help you.

not to put words into the mouth of the OP, but from my experience, Ive been suicidal but will not act on it, if that makes any sense. Answering the question with 'yes' means they treat the situation differently than if you say 'no' (yes = cops, no =a nice chat), but saying 'no' is lying and doesnt convey the seriousness of the situation.

Amy10, Im sorry you had such a bad experience. Im in a different country, but I've not had much better a time of it when Ive called crisis lines, both for myself, and for my at-the-time partner. Their general attitude was 'eh, get to a hospital, they'll deal with it', which is pretty unhelpful. I'm high functioning in all but my worst moments, so I shudder to think what it must be like for someone with less emotional/mental resources trying to navigate the system here ;)

Thanks, I really appreciate that. I think I was kind of stunned, as I have been lucky enough for several years to only have to deal with a great GP and fairly sussed, attentive Psychs or community psychiatric nurses (they come and visit you at home in the UK - part of the National Health Service - but i haven't had one for 3 yrs ).

I understand what you say about being treated more seriously when you say you are suicidal.

I have a bit of a phobia about that (however irrational). This was due to:

I had the same issue in London when I was studying there years ago. I told a crisis team doctor by phone that i was feeling suicidal, in pain , and just wanted some sleeping pills to conk me out if possible.

He said he had the power to section me if i intended to harm myself, which is not reassuring! I then had a team bang on my flat door and come and ask my flatmates how i was, and they didn't know i had an illness....and they wouldn't give me sleeping pills. Clearly, this is sensible protocol, but it fucked up my year in that flat and they didn't give me any sleeping pills. Nice.

What upset me is that it was worse than ever calling the emergency doc or GP or Psych's secretary. The support worker I originally spoke to just sounded jaded and passed me onto a nurse, this guy who got annoyed that i didn't unveil my deepest feelings to him. It sounds silly, cos they need to know how extreme it is. However, I said, I am schizoaffective bipolar, my psych told me to call this line out of hours if desperate as i have been lately, I would like to come in for an assessment as i am distressed due to feeling really low on the bipolar spectrum. You get sensitive if someone comes across as a wanker. You don't want to be vulnerable to them, hence when they say are you making plans...you say i don't want to discuss that, i just want to know what my options are when i arrive at the hospital out of hours. I.e. you assess me, what happens? Do you just give me more Valium? You see, I may be haunted by suicidal thoughts but the fact that i called them must mean that at some level i want to live. Therefore, how can you help me? Frankly, I know the hospital. I don't want to sit around on the same meds i am on now doing the f###ing Beck inventory. It upsets me that although I am off my face right now (feeling better in a strange way as out of my body), but imagine if i was worse, less articulate, not able to convey my distress and they behaved like that.

Hence the phobia.

I just spoke to another guy at the hospital who just called. He was really nice. I told him. He said he's pass on the feedback.

I still can't stop crying but i am glad there is someone nice at the hospital.

I sound like a moron for which i apologise but i am stoned on the prn meds and still upset.

Sorry , this is an epic, thanks for reading.

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Hi Amy,

So, forgive me if I missed it, what happened to send you spirally like this? PM me if you don't feel comfortable posting it on the board.

BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games. I figured you were extremely upset and had your reasons. You are, after all, a very intelligent, articulate woman--capable of self-expression even when everything is going into the toilet. So, that was not everyone's take on your initial post. fwiw.

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I think it's fair enough that you wanted to know how things worked before you trusted them. What if their protocol was to section you for any suicidal ideation? obviously that would be stupid, but they could have reassured you that they would just talk to you and only keep you there if you were at an imminent risk of hurting yourself.

I'm sorry you are feeling so horrible.

As long as you keep posting i'll keep reading. We get it. We can at least do that for you.

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BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games. I figured you were extremely upset and had your reasons. You are, after all, a very intelligent, articulate woman--capable of self-expression even when everything is going into the toilet. So, that was not everyone's take on your initial post. fwiw.

I'm a little light on making sense today so I wanted to comment that I agree with S9.

I think my point was more that I only see limited value in what the crisis lines can do even in the best of circumstances. And the bulk of the calls are probably drug seekers or people who call all the time for attention/company/etc. I don't know if the people manning the lines are paid of how well they are trained-- so there really is only so much they can do.

I made the pill comment in response to what you said about your last experience-- even people who do legitimately need medication are probably outnumbered in the hundreds by people who are just drug seekers.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you're feeling better.

Cheers, I understand that they can probably get overwhelmed by these kinds of calls, but they are part of the NHS out of hours service. I wasn't looking for sleeping pills, unlike 10 yrs ago as i described above. I just needed a place to go to where i didn't feel so desperate or rather if i did, there was some kind of safety net.

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BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games.

I said I did not see the point in refusing to discuss suicidality in calling a crisis line, because it is not a game. I did not say you were playing a game. It is dire information that the people on the other end of the phone line need to assess your crisis. Dodging the central question of whether you are in danger of killing yourself tonight does not facilitate your treatment, it thwarts it. If that's your decision, OK, but I think you have to bear some of the responsibility for your frustration with the process.

I'm in the US, so I can't say that I know your particulars with the NHS, but when I have called crisis hotlines here, the first thing they want to know is if I am going to harm myself. I tell them that I am suicidal, but I do not plan to carry it out right now, so then there is no banging on my door.

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I said I did not see the point in refusing to discuss suicidality in calling a crisis line, because it is not a game. I did not say you were playing a game. It is dire information that the people on the other end of the phone line need to assess your crisis. Dodging the central question of whether you are in danger of killing yourself tonight does not facilitate your treatment, it thwarts it.

If that's your decision, fine, but you have to bear some of the responsibility for your frustration with the process.

properly trained staff should be aware that some callers will have difficulty providing them with information, though. Theyre dealing with people who are MI and often in high distress. 'We cant help you' for not answering a question isnt an appropriate response. It must be astoundingly frustrating for the person taking the call, but it's their job to assess the caller, and they should be looking for alternate ways of doing so if a direct question isnt getting them the information they need.

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BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games.

I said I did not see the point in refusing to discuss suicidality in calling a crisis line, because it is not a game.

The whole suggestion of "game playing" regardless of phrasing or emphasis, was presumptuous and unfair to the OP. It's not helpful to someone in distress, regardless of whatever valuable criticism you may or may not have, to admonish about what they did or did not choose to discuss with a crisis help line--particularly in a country that does business completely differently from your own. And especially when you have no sense of the personality or history of the OP. A little more compassion would have gone much further, IMO. Of course she knows it's not a freaking game--she was the one making the damn phone call. We don't typically call those hot lines when we are merely feeling playful. It was obvious to me there were multiple issues at play other than "just answer the fucking questions, lady."

/rant.

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BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games.

I said I did not see the point in refusing to discuss suicidality in calling a crisis line, because it is not a game.

The whole suggestion of "game playing" regardless of phrasing or emphasis, was presumptuous and unfair to the OP. It's not helpful to someone in distress, regardless of whatever valuable criticism you may or may not have, to admonish about what they did or did not choose to discuss with a crisis help line--particularly in a country that does business completely differently from your own. And especially when you have no sense of the personality or history of the OP. A little more compassion would have gone much further, IMO. Of course she knows it's not a freaking game--she was the one making the damn phone call. We don't typically call those hot lines when we are merely feeling playful. It was obvious to me there were multiple issues at play other than "just answer the fucking questions, lady."

/rant.

Thanks S9. I really appreciate that. I was v lucky in that i got in touch with a neighbouring friend who came round for a bit. F### knows what i would have done otherwise.

Correct on all counts. IN FACT, it was way before the question on suicidality that their rudeness and lack of helpfulness started. I.e. I was sighing due to weariness and despair as i gave them my phone number and that was me being rude, apparently! The issue was that within five minutes they made me feel 10x more upset and I could hardly speak for sobbing, which is when they said i was making their job difficult. 10 mins later they asked the suicide question and i said that i didn't want to discuss it over the phone before a formal assessment by one of their colleagues at the hospital. People don't just ring hospital crisis centres cos they are 99% going to kill themselves or feel like it that evening. A crisis does not need to mean a definite suicide attempt, just as a physical emergency does not necessarily mean huge risk of death. The guys i spoke to offered a night-time assessment regardless of how safe my situation sounded. I would just have to take a taxi there. The way it works here with the mental crisis centre run by the NHS (govt health sector or whatever) is that you call them when you need urgent support and it's out of hours and you don't want or need to go to Accident and Emergency, call your emergency doctor or call an ambulance. Since all three of these would probably take you to the crisis centre at the hospital, you are cutting out the middle man. You don't have to be at death's door. Even the Samaritans, a suicide helpline here, do not press you to say whether you intend to die or not. They also strongly press people that they can call without having to be suicidal, they can be low and/or distressed and just need to rant/connect with someone. I WAS suicidal, but not enough not to call the crisis team and just do it on the spot.

T

he crisis team is part of the hospital and the care team for people under psych care and they have a duty to at least act in a caring manner and provide support in every individual context.

FYI, I talked to a friend who suffered from intractable psychosis for years and was therefore in and out of the wards and needed regular contact with the crisis team at the hospital. He said they tended to make him feel worse and agreed with me that getting in touch with them is often counterproductive.

It may just be my city. I am lucky in that my gp and psych are great. However, if I was delusional with suicidal intent , attempted or not, I would be v scared of calling the crisis team - they seem dangerous in my and my friend's experience who v luckily has recovered completely and has been off meds for a year after ten yrs of insane psychosis that appeared to have been brought on by the huge cocktail of APs, ADs, MSs and benzos he was on. A blessing.

Anyway, rant over.

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I think it's fair enough that you wanted to know how things worked before you trusted them. What if their protocol was to section you for any suicidal ideation? obviously that would be stupid, but they could have reassured you that they would just talk to you and only keep you there if you were at an imminent risk of hurting yourself.

I'm sorry you are feeling so horrible.

As long as you keep posting i'll keep reading. We get it. We can at least do that for you.

Thanks - i really appreciate that. You're so right. I know so many who avoid the crisis team (part of the hospital) as they fear they'll get committed for admitting suicidal intent when they feel a hospital stay would make them worse. A common experience.

I hope my epic post explaining the situation in more detail does not come across badly. I am still zonked from more valium than i have ever taken before. Foggy.

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BTW, I never once read into your message(s) that you were being coy, or playing games. I figured you were extremely upset and had your reasons. You are, after all, a very intelligent, articulate woman--capable of self-expression even when everything is going into the toilet. So, that was not everyone's take on your initial post. fwiw.

I'm a little light on making sense today so I wanted to comment that I agree with S9.

I think my point was more that I only see limited value in what the crisis lines can do even in the best of circumstances. And the bulk of the calls are probably drug seekers or people who call all the time for attention/company/etc. I don't know if the people manning the lines are paid of how well they are trained-- so there really is only so much they can do.

I made the pill comment in response to what you said about your last experience-- even people who do legitimately need medication are probably outnumbered in the hundreds by people who are just drug seekers.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you're feeling better.

Thanks so much for your support.

It may be that they are overwhelmed at times, but they cannot give out prescriptions easily and they need to do a thorough assessment to start with. This has been frustrating to me in the past as they always say i need to go in and i just wanted to be knocked out. They tend to just try and get you to wait till morning unless serious harm can come from not acting immediately. But hell, what's wrong with a sleeping pill?

Rant over. Again.

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Sleeping pills are habit forming, and taking a sleeping pill is not getting to the root of the problem. The NHS doesn't want to encourage people to take a Valium everytime they get distressed. Otherwise it's just endless rounds of Valium and no healing is done.

I wonder what would have happened if you had said 'I don't feel safe discussing whether I am suicidal with you because I am afraid you will section me, can we talk about what would happen if I admitted that I was?' and you stayed on the phone to talk to the crisis team people. The point of a crisis team is assess a crisis and figure out if hospital admission is necessary or not. The team is trying to avoid getting people admitted, and keep them treated in their own homes, if at all possible. But they have to triage a patient for risk, and it does make their job harder when people call in a crisis and then refuse to give them key information.

The crisis team is there to take over when things get too bad to cope with alone, but you are in doubt whether it is admission worthy or don't feel like sitting in Casualty. They take over the decision from you. Unfortunately they are rarely there to just talk about distress, they are often overstaffed and underpaid, with patients to see who do need admission. I know that your crisis was genuine, but I think it would have been better to ring MIND or the samaritans or a trusted friend. You could have rung to say you were distressed and wanted to know what coping mechanisms you could use, that generally gets a better reponse.

I am in the UK and have used crisis teams a lot.

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Im sorry for your pain and frustration! one time I called the suicide prevention line and was suicidal...they put me on hold...I laughed so hard I was fine and went on about my merry way *LOL* not making light of your pain just trying to make you smile hang in there!

much love, giddy

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Im sorry for your pain and frustration! one time I called the suicide prevention line and was suicidal...they put me on hold...I laughed so hard I was fine and went on about my merry way *LOL* not making light of your pain just trying to make you smile hang in there!

much love, giddy

Thanks, that is funny...Hey, maybe that was there bizarre technique to stop people feeling so bad! ;)

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I wonder what would have happened if you had said 'I don't feel safe discussing whether I am suicidal with you because I am afraid you will section me, can we talk about what would happen if I admitted that I was?' and you stayed on the phone to talk to the crisis team people.
Okay, to me this is getting downright silly. Did you not read where she said how they alienated and disrespected her from the very beginning of the call? Would YOU want to be forthcoming with someone who at every turn pissed you off or hurt your feelings when you were in severe crisis?

he point of a crisis team is assess a crisis and figure out if hospital admission is necessary or not. The team is trying to avoid getting people admitted, and keep them treated in their own homes, if at all possible. But they have to triage a patient for risk, and it does make their job harder when people call in a crisis and then refuse to give them key information.
We all KNOW what the point of a crisis team is. Both in the UK and the US. You are not offering any new information, Karuna, that would be helpful to the OP, imo, to have made her decision making process different. This sounds like a whole lot of finger wagging to me.
I know that your crisis was genuine, but I think it would have been better to ring MIND or the samaritans or a trusted friend. You could have rung to say you were distressed and wanted to know what coping mechanisms you could use, that generally gets a better reponse.

This just sounds annoying. I'm sorry, I know it's not my issue and I should just stfu. But it's so over the top preachy I cant. I have personal knowledge of the OP's issues that give me a different perspective and I just think that unless she chooses to share the missing information privately with you, Karuna, or Liveoak, you guys would serve her better to put your judgment of her behavior in this one instance aside.

We are, after all, about compassion here. Not "oh, I use the Crisis line in the UK all the time so I KNOW what you did wrong and here is what and why," as if by saying the same thing another way, will somehow make her understand. She *understood* a few posts ago. To continue bickering the point to her that she doesn't understand the situation and actly badly or erroneously BECAUSE she doesn't understand the situation is not helping. The woman understands the farking situation.

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Sleeping pills are habit forming, and taking a sleeping pill is not getting to the root of the problem. The NHS doesn't want to encourage people to take a Valium everytime they get distressed. Otherwise it's just endless rounds of Valium and no healing is done.

I wonder what would have happened if you had said 'I don't feel safe discussing whether I am suicidal with you because I am afraid you will section me, can we talk about what would happen if I admitted that I was?' and you stayed on the phone to talk to the crisis team people. The point of a crisis team is assess a crisis and figure out if hospital admission is necessary or not. The team is trying to avoid getting people admitted, and keep them treated in their own homes, if at all possible. But they have to triage a patient for risk, and it does make their job harder when people call in a crisis and then refuse to give them key information.

The crisis team is there to take over when things get too bad to cope with alone, but you are in doubt whether it is admission worthy or don't feel like sitting in Casualty. They take over the decision from you. Unfortunately they are rarely there to just talk about distress, they are often overstaffed and underpaid, with patients to see who do need admission. I know that your crisis was genuine, but I think it would have been better to ring MIND or the samaritans or a trusted friend. You could have rung to say you were distressed and wanted to know what coping mechanisms you could use, that generally gets a better reponse.

I am in the UK and have used crisis teams a lot.

I couldn't agree more.

If you call them for help and refuse to give any details so they can figure out how to help, their hands are tied.

Saying that, they treated you completely inappropriately. They should have asked-

1) If you were too afraid to discuss any SI you may be experiencing. Its understandable to be afraid. They should have guessed your fear and explained the circumstances under which sectioning takes place. I don't know about the UK but in the US, it takes more than just SI. Generally, it takes a plan, access and evidence that you are a danger to yourself or others. Admitting to SI is not considered "evidence".

2) What made you so distressed (if you knew) and what has worked in the past to help you. They should have then advised you on how to get that help.

3) Exactly what you were looking for by calling the crisis line. If it was just to have someone to talk you down, I suspect there are other more appropriate resources for that. In the US, Crisis lines are for triaging emergencies. If you didn't feel that your level of distress was worthy of an Emergency Room visit then maybe Crisis wasn't appropriate. BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE FOUND YOU HELP NO MATTER WHAT.

I don't think you were playing games, I just think you were too distressed.

You said that calling a friend over helped...Maybe that was all you needed and should remember that next time you are in distress but don't think its bad enough to see a doctor about. Or call the Samaritans if you are afraid of aggressive questioning or fear sectioning.

I may be off the mark because of the differences in MI care and resources across the pond, though.

I hope you are feeling better, Amy10.

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I wonder what would have happened if you had said 'I don't feel safe discussing whether I am suicidal with you because I am afraid you will section me, can we talk about what would happen if I admitted that I was?' and you stayed on the phone to talk to the crisis team people.
Okay, to me this is getting downright silly. Did you not read where she said how they alienated and disrespected her from the very beginning of the call? Would YOU want to be forthcoming with someone who at every turn pissed you off or hurt your feelings when you were in severe crisis?

he point of a crisis team is assess a crisis and figure out if hospital admission is necessary or not. The team is trying to avoid getting people admitted, and keep them treated in their own homes, if at all possible. But they have to triage a patient for risk, and it does make their job harder when people call in a crisis and then refuse to give them key information.
We all KNOW what the point of a crisis team is. Both in the UK and the US. You are not offering any new information, Karuna, that would be helpful to the OP, imo, to have made her decision making process different. This sounds like a whole lot of finger wagging to me.
I know that your crisis was genuine, but I think it would have been better to ring MIND or the samaritans or a trusted friend. You could have rung to say you were distressed and wanted to know what coping mechanisms you could use, that generally gets a better reponse.

This just sounds annoying. I'm sorry, I know it's not my issue and I should just stfu. But it's so over the top preachy I cant. I have personal knowledge of the OP's issues that give me a different perspective and I just think that unless she chooses to share the missing information privately with you, Karuna, or Liveoak, you guys would serve her better to put your judgment of her behavior in this one instance aside.

We are, after all, about compassion here. Not "oh, I use the Crisis line in the UK all the time so I KNOW what you did wrong and here is what and why," as if by saying the same thing another way, will somehow make her understand. She *understood* a few posts ago. To continue bickering the point to her that she doesn't understand the situation and actly badly or erroneously BECAUSE she doesn't understand the situation is not helping. The woman understands the farking situation.

S9,

I appreciate where you are coming from and my first instincts were the same as yours but I thought about it and realized that it doesn't help anyone to sit and commiserate about a bad experience endlessly without offering sound advice and actual support in the form of realistic suggestions . I think many posters here are trying to help the OP by offering alternatives because obviously Crisis doesn't help in this situation.

Gentle reminders are not criticisms. Everyone is trying to help. Some help by empathizing, some by offering advice. No one here means to degrade her or finger-wag. At least, in my case.

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