Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

NHS - just can't do it anymore


Recommended Posts

Hello

It's taken me a few days to be able to write this post and to be honest I don't even know why I'm writing it but maybe I need some advice.

I live in the UK, and have been severely depressed for about 4 months now. It's not the first time - I've had about 7 or 8 episodes of depression in about 6 years, all lasting between 3 months and a year. In the last few years, these episodes have been severe and involved suicidal thoughts and I have made a few attempts in the past. I was sectioned at the end of November after a suicide attempt (a few days after going to A&E and telling them I was actively suicidal and needed help, and being told to leave because there was 'nothing wrong with me').

My section was lifted 4 days later, and having received no proper assessment or treatment I left the hospital, referred to the CMHT. Since then I've had two meetings with a CPN, and still no treatment.

I've barely left my bed in the last few months. I can't do anything. I'm literally not functioning, and often find it hard to even move. I can't remember the last time I showered, for example. I just lie here, willing myself to be able to get up and do something but being completely unable to. This wouldn't be such a problem if it weren't for the fact that I will be homeless in 5 days time. I should feel worried about that but I feel nothing, it's like my mind doesn't have the capacity to feel anymore, apart from a kind of dull overwhelming sadness. I have also had some isolated hallucinations for the first time recently but only a few times.

I don't really know what to do. I know I need some kind of treatment, and I was told I might be referred for therapy but this was nearly a month ago and I haven't heard anything about it. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to engage with therapy at my current level of functioning anyway.

Antidepressants were also mentioned but in previous experiences using them (and I've tried a few) they seem to make me more agitated and suicidal. I've also had a manic episode triggered by an antidepressant in the past which fairly rapidly crashed into an extremely anxious depression so I'm wary of trying them again.

I have a diagnosis, which was the result of a 20 minute meeting with a crisis team pdoc 4 years ago, during which I barely said a word. The diagnosis is emotionally unstable personality disorder, but I do not believe I have this, and the more I read about it the more I am sure that it is wrong. I asked for an assessment last year for this reason but was refused, as they said the pdoc was too busy.

I feel like everything I say is being ignored, and that I am not being believed. The few pdocs I have seen since receiving the diagnosis have literally disregarded a lot of what I tell them, and they say things like 'i understand it must be difficult to have your mood change so quickly' but it doesn't! My mood episodes last many months. And I'm constantly asked to explain WHY i feel the way I do, and when I explain that nothing has happened and that I just can't function anymore it falls on deaf ears.

I can't keep on like this. I just can't. My suicidal thoughts are constant and the fact that I'm not taken seriously by the MH services that should be my way out of this just makes my desire to quit even stronger, as I'm not prepared to live in this hell much longer with no glimmer of hope that it might end, or at least get a bit better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you able to go to your GP or A&E unit and tell them that you feel suicidal? Are there any doctors there that you think will help you? The NHS mental health services are pretty dire, but the problem isn't always with individual doctors. I like to think there are still a few good eggs lying around who want to help. 

 

While waiting to be referred for diagnosis I had to tell my GP that I was suicidal and they were able to bump up the appointment by two weeks (which is considered an emergency.. wtf). Two weeks felt like a long time but really it was the best I could have gotten and the guy I saw was really helpful. To be honest the only reason I was able to get a diagnosis and possible referral to psychiatric services was because I pestered my GP for years. It should be easy but they make a lot of hoops for you to jump through. 

 

Is there any possibility you could get private help? You might be able to access free counselling services via a charity or something, or a lot of counsellors have sliding scales nowadays. Do you have somewhere to stay when you lose your house? 

 

It's shitty feeling like you're being ignored. It isn't you, its the situation with the NHS at the moment. Mind has this on their website for accessing treatment, Sorry if you knew all of this already, the NHS is terrible at dealing with us. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't feel able to go to A&E again, not after last time. I wasn't even allowed to explain why I was there or how I was feeling to the duty MH nurse. She asked me and I started to talk, but was interrupted and told that because I'd used 'bad language' in my explanation I was therefore not ill and I had to leave the hospital. Kicked up a bit of a fuss at this point, refused to leave and so was dragged out by security. Was in so much distress by then I ran out into the road and was nearly hit by a bus. Security guards saw this and called police, who picked me up halfway down the road and, seeing what state I was in, decided I needed to be in A&E, so they took me back there, but A&E refused to let me in. My only option at this point, as the police said they had a duty to make sure I was in a place of safety and not alone, was for them to wake up my housemate in the middle of the night (who I don't know very well and didn't know I have MH problems) and make sure that he stayed with me. Because if I hadn't let them do that I would have ended up in a police cell as thats the only way they could make sure I was safe. So yeah, not exactly the help I was expecting. It sickens me that these services are able to completely deny you any kind of help when you are explicitly telling them that you don't feel safe and that your life is in danger.

GP is not really an option as they would just refer me to CMHT and I'm already under the care of the CMHT supposedly although haven't heard from them in weeks. Called them a couple of times last week and the week before asking to speak to my CPN and was told he'd call me but he hasn't at all yet, so I haven't spoken to him in nearly a month.

I do agree that there are some good eggs, and have had some good experiences in the past with individuals. My usual GP, who is lovely, has just left the practice though and the only nice pdoc I've spoken to who works in my borough has just died. All I can think of to do is call CMHT on Monday and ask again to speak to my CPN. I'm not very good at being assertive or persistent at the moment though as I struggle to use the phone, especially when I'm going to be talking to someone I don't know.

And no, I don't have anywhere to stay after Thursday. Bit fucked up really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, and welcome to Crazyboards.
 
I'm also in the UK, so I know something of the frustrations that can arise, but also something of the resources available.

 

(Edit: DS, your second post came in while I was slowly typing this, I think most of it still stands.  Chris).  
 
One thing you can do, having climbed the hill of doing *anything*, (yes, I know this one, too, all too well,)
is to print off a couple of copies of what you have just posted (modify it slightly if you wish, but it'll do fine as it is) and post one to your GP, keeping a paper copy for yourself.
In my local surgery you can even e-mail letters in, and cut out the printing and posting bit.
 
I've more than once found that easier than trying to explain live, in a few minutes, what's going on.
 
On the prospective homelessness (which is enough to reduce many people to paralysis, just on its own ) as well as your there need for decent help there are a few places you should contact.  Even scream or cry at, if that's where you are.
 
Mind, the mental health charity.
http://www.mind.org.uk/
Their front page has options for urgent contact.
 
Your local council should have emergency telephone numbers or e-mails  to cover  both mental health support  and for homelessness issues.
For my council, (Cornwall) I went front page and typed in "homelessness" which took me to an appropriate section.
"You are here:

Home Page > Housing > Housing options > Housing Options and Homelessness"

I tried "emergency help" into the front page search bar and got another set of contact options for both mental health and homelessness support.

You should try this for your own council's website.

Have a go. It's better than doing nothing, even if doing anything feels like wading through treacle.
There are people out there whose job is to provide help.
Yes, they are often overworked and short of resources, but you could at least give them a chance.

and I don't really see a risk of it making things worse.

Best wishes, Chris.
 

Edited by Emettman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies ananke and Chris. What I will do is check out the council website and see where that leads me. I feel so stupid that I probably should have worked that out for myself really. I have also decided to call my GP surgery tomorrow and ask for an emergency appointment, can always get one the same day, and I need it because I just realised the sick note for my ESA runs out tomorrow. So

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pressed post by accident, sorry. Only have a phone because my laptop broke and clumsy fingers.

But yeah, I WILL do those two things tomorrow. Countless times I've made similar promises to myself but now its imperative I do - as if I don't I will be on the streets with no income at all come Thursday, and I can t imagine that making me any less suicidal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly I find the whole blogging/internet thing difficult as well at times :) 

 

I really hope it goes well for you and that the council or the NHS get you somewhere to stay. Like Chris said, actually sending them the information you've written here might be really helpful and get them treating you properly. The system is (horribly) designed to make sure we have to put in a lot of effort if we need to get something. At the very least giving your GP a letter or a printout will mean they have the information with them and don't have to rely on memory or second hand notes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also decided to call my GP surgery tomorrow and ask for an emergency appointment, can always get one the same day, and I need it because I just realised the sick note for my ESA runs out tomorrow.

 

I'd suggest printing out your first post, or making a similar list of problems and issues, in order to take that with you.

It eases trying to recall everything important when you are face-to-face with the doctor.

 

Best wishes, 

 

Chris.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did it. Treacle 0-1 me. Saw the GP, one I've never met before but she was brilliant. Wasn't able to print the post, having no computer or printer, but I somehow managed to explain what was going on. She said that she thought I should have had a lot more support from the CMHT and my CPN, and that the council will probably provide me with some temporary accommodation, a hostel or somewhere, because of my MH problems I'd be in 'priority need'. She also took me seriously when I said that I didn't feel my diagnosis was accurate, and that I should definitely push for a proper assessment while im still under the CMHT. And she signed me off work for 3 months, which means I'm not going to have to worry about seeking work at the moment, a massive weight off my mind.

Also finally managed to get in touch with my CPN (!) but he was much less helpful. I spoke to him about my imminent homelessness and he just said 'well I hope you find somewhere to live soon'. And he arranged an appointment with me in nearly 2 weeks time. Kinda giving up with him tbh, he's a lovely guy but incredibly laid back - not what I need at the moment. When I do see him next week though I will make sure to have stuff written down about what's been going on, and will ask to see a pdoc.

I have a jasmine plant, which I often don't water for a week or more when my motivation is bad. I noticed today that, despite this, it had grown its first few flower buds. Some kind of poetic symbolism of hope, maybe. It made me feel something for the first time in a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really glad your GP took you seriously and that you can focus on your mental health and housing without having to worry about a job for a while. Your CPN does sound like a dick. It's one thing to be calm and another to be completely unhelpful. But yes, treacle 0, you 1 :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Stickler, I will definitely bear that in mind and might make a complaint in the future. I'm very wary of the implications of making a complaint right now though, as I know in the NHS at least patients diagnosed with personality disorders are seen to be 'difficult' and this can be a barrier to treatment - don't want to give them any more ammunition to see me as such, because it might ultimately have negative consequences. My mum, who is a MH nurse, has told me many horror stories about the way that personality disorder patients are spoken about/dealt with in the system, and while I believe this is abhorrent and should be fought, the fact is that being too assertive can be a bad thing, unfortunately, in their eyes. Frustrating but gotta work with the system on their terms if I want to be treated. When my mood has stabilised again I will probably pursue complaints regarding my CPN and also the nurse at the A&E who refused to speak to me.

Had a bit of a meltdown last night, due to having quite a bit of alcohol (which I had been really good at avoiding lately). It sent me into a rage and I threw some stuff around the room.  Been a few years since that's happened. There are now a few holes in the wall and I have bruised knuckles. Pissed off that such a productive day ended so badly.  And now I have to find a way of fixing the wall before Thursday. I'm a right idiot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My guy has a " mixed personality disorder " diagnosis.

His evil psychiatrist told him this was because he "should have gotten over" his childhood abuse and subsequent war trauma by now...

When he related this to me I kinda went off for a minute... Held the phone away from me and was very loud...

( I'm allowed to talk about him, I have his permission )

I have other online friends trying to get help out of the NHS and...* grits teeth and growls*

Anyway: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-repair-cracks-and-holes-in-drywall/index.html

I am a Slouching Dragon level google-fu master :P

Don't beat up on yourself, ever. It's terrifically unhelpful, it creeps out and poisons everything.

You have a lot to be angry about, ok? Shit happens, you deal with it and go on.

Edited by Stickler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I'm a one-person army battling a horde. I feel like I've fallen into a hole, and every scrabbling attempt to climb out just dislodges more debris which falls on top of me, making my escape more difficult. I feel that debris is suffocating me, and I have a very limited breathing space left. The limited breathing space I have left means I'm not taking in as much oxygen as I need to function properly, and as the debris keeps on falling I can only see this getting worse.

I never experienced any kind of abuse as a child, in fact I look back upon my childhood as the best time I've ever had. What is happening to me started in late adolescence and has become gradually worse since then. I'm only 25, but feel so much older. I've had enough of this. I really can't live through it anymore, and I don't think it's selfish to end my life when my life causes me so much suffering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The NHS has a problem with psychiatrists diagnosing EUPD/BPD in one visit. 

Look at the NHS choices website and there are others bringing up the same concerns in regards to the NHS. 

 

NICE guidlines will also be good for a read and then you can quote them at people. 

Edited by helenllama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well done for the doctor visit, and for the better outcome from it, if the doctor does follow through.

 

Do give the council housing a call.  A few day's notice for them is a lot less stress for the person there handling emergency housing, apart from giving them a better chance of finding something suitable, rather than just "something".

Being both both signed off as unfit for work and having a formal mental health diagnosis (even if it may not be accurate!) will give some definite priority.

 

Good luck.

 

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any good advice that the people on this thread haven't already given you, duckingshut.

 

But well done for going to your GP! In my experience, GPs have tended to handle MI stuff more sensitively and sympathetically, and actually try to do more things to help compared to pdocs. (Maybe this is an NHS thing, I'm in the UK too.) They just don't have the time/training/experience for treating more complex stuff, which is a shame.

 

Keep on chugging! Calling council housing in advance can only be helpful. We're rooting for you here on CB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I'm a one-person army battling a horde. I feel like I've fallen into a hole, and every scrabbling attempt to climb out just dislodges more debris which falls on top of me, making my escape more difficult. I feel that debris is suffocating me, and I have a very limited breathing space left. The limited breathing space I have left means I'm not taking in as much oxygen as I need to function properly, and as the debris keeps on falling I can only see this getting worse.

I never experienced any kind of abuse as a child, in fact I look back upon my childhood as the best time I've ever had. What is happening to me started in late adolescence and has become gradually worse since then. I'm only 25, but feel so much older. I've had enough of this. I really can't live through it anymore, and I don't think it's selfish to end my life when my life causes me so much suffering.

I'm sorry that you're feeling so awful and that the NHS has given you so many problems. I hope that you've been able to sort out a housing option. :-/

 

This post concerns me, and I am surprised no one seems to have picked up on it yet. It sounds like you are suicidal, is that right? I think this is an urgent/critical situation. I don't know how things work over there (I'm in the US), but is there anyone you can call? Like the GP you just saw? Or maybe you can try your NP again, even though he was less than helpful the last time? If all else fails, maybe give A&E one last chance? (I know you said earlier in this thread that you had a bad experience there, but chances are good that you'll get a different (and hopefully better) nurse, right? I would think/hope so.) Or is there any family/friends you can call? I don't know, I just really hope you're able to get some help ASAP.

 

Speaking from personal experience as someone who has been suicidal before, I can say that I am glad that I didn't commit suicide. My life has gotten a lot better since those times, and I am glad that I have stuck around to see it. I know things may seem bleak right now, but I have faith that they can improve for you. I know how hard that is to believe when you are depressed and suicidal, though. But I really hope you are able to hold on just a little bit longer until you can get more help and give things a chance to turn around for you, too.

 

I also hope you'll keep checking in here to let us know how you're doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...