December 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm #213karen18 Posts
This is a musing really. For years, mental health has been hidden away and I never had any direct contact or experience of it. Now I have a family member struggling (and fighting back hard…I never understood true courage till I saw that). I also have 2 friends struggling as well. These are all people seeking help through the normal channels but it has been eye opening for me. What hit home was when I received a desperate phone call and when I tried to find immediate help I could find nothing. A long shot phone call to an acquaintance set me on the right path but I have to say, having now researched this in more detail…it seems help is available to treat symptoms. (Drugs etc) but to actually get help to address the root causes is really restricted. What are your experiences?
December 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm #214kerry15 Posts
I know a girl who fights every day. She has PTSD and anorexia, often very depressed and I admire her courage in fighting every day. She too has looked for help for the basic causes and found nothing, as you say, plenty of chemicals but no real help. Her mother is quite wealthy and would pay for treatment if only they could find the right course to take. It’s tragic to watch her struggling ALL the time and her life is passing her by totally dominated by her issues. These people deserve so much more. She has taken herself to A&E on more than one occasion and they treat her like dirt, leaving her worse than when she went in. She has said to me that she wants to eat but sometimes she physically can’t get past the mental block… she knows she is thin (to say the least) and it’s not about a fear of putting on weight… it’s all tied up with the PTSD.
I feel very sad for these people and wish so much I could help. I can’t begin to imagine the mental torment that goes on in their mind every day.
December 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm #215janey15 Posts
I know someone who has turned to Alcoholism due to depression/stress/anxiety. The ironic thing is she worked within mental health for 25 years and it is actually the trigger for her addiction. I feel nothing but empathy for this person, their head must be such a horrendus place.
From what I gather, up here, the only way they can get help to “get dry” is if they is admitted to hospital with a physical problem like an injury or something. This person has been on two programmes but relapsed, I suspect they needed more time but there isn’t the funding for that or for sufficient aftercare.
There needs to be more done.
December 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm #216Emma14 Posts
Mental health is vastly under funded and very little help is out there.
My mother died from anorexia, and the saddest thing of all is that the help was not available as she had to ask for it, because she was considered capable of making her own decisions.
she did not think her anorexia was a problem so why would she need help….
December 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm #217elly7 Posts
You can get 6 counseling sessions on the NHS which imo is not nearly enough for some people. I am lucky enough to be able to pay for long term therapy with the same counselor who I had the free sessions with but not everyone can afford it.
There is a charity in my area which offers reduced rate counseling but it still costs 75% of the average rate for a private counselor and there is a limit to how many sessions you can have there. Even that is out of the price range of some people though.
There is a definite problem with under funding of mental health services.
December 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm #218sarah13 Posts
Mostly fairly dire.
I was very lucky that after things went over the point of critical made worse by CMHT I had a good contact who happened to be on duty at that point and who got me through the next few months, but that was down to him not the system he worked in.
Unfortunately on having to move the whole palaver started again, all previous diagnoses and help given was completely disregarded and I was told so, even though I had only recently been discharged from CMHT.
The whole thing is just so disjointed because CMHT are separate from primary care providers who actually can/do provide therapies to what they would call quite a ‘high level’ so that from CMHT you can be sort of referred back to those providers for therapy rather than it being done in house so to speak. Getting to work out how they system is supposed to work is nigh on impossible and even if you manage that you have to have enough energy to do something about it, which when you are struggling is unlikely.
Case in point for the disjointedness is Psychiatrist ‘I know what I want you to do but from my informed position I cannot actually refer you to do it you have to go through this other system and get them to agree but I will write a letter that hopefully makes it clear.’
Apparently it didn’t make it clear and it was a huge fight, which culminated in the lovely pysch actually taking a call from me mid meltdown (only expected his secretary!) because I didn’t know what to do and him saying he would walk down the stairs to the other department and sort it. He did and not surprisingly he was right, I went from suicidal to pretty much ok for 18 months following that therapy and had no more contact with them or use any resources in that time.
Mostly in all my contacts with them I have decided they would rather I top myself than help me because at least then I wouldn’t be there as a problem anymore. Deciding to go back to them is a huge decision, because even if you know something is up and you are trying to nip it in the bud you know that to a certain extent your contact with them will make you worse not better.
After my most recent diagnosis which was triggered by yet another mental health assessment (asperger’s) there is no help at all post diagnosis. You are just sent on your way and told mental health services are not set up to help people with autism. As such there seem to be quite a lot of people with a late autism diagnosis, who have got to that on the basis of their mental health problems (anxiety, depression, self harm, PTSD all seem relatively common) who aren’t able to access anything that will help them therapy wise and will often not get much/any benefit from the commonly prescribed medications which seems fairly ridiculous.
Other than the 6 counselling/CBT sessions available from IAPT, which if you tick the boxes you can refer back to many times but I was told I would need to find out about autism myself first so I could guide the therapy… erm.
I do think it is really great for some people that you can in many areas self refer for these 6 sessions and there are many short group CBT courses that occur in the evenings (although they are apparently going away from that and been told to concentrate on one to ones, no idea why as they reach a lot of people that way!) but I think and others I have spoken to would agree that if your issues slip between what IAPT can provide help for, and not being enough for CMHT to want to bother with/take seriously that middle bit is sparse.
I am very grateful to the good CPN and that psychiatrist but that was because they were just inherently good people going beyond what they should have done not because of the system.
If anyone asks me now I suggest if they can get any care outside of the NHS from voluntary organisations or privately then do it. The only problem with that being that if you are not able to do that in the future the fact that you have had previous issues might not be down on your record right, but then given that my record from somerset was apparently irrelevant in wiltshire it probably doesn’t matter!
December 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm #219dave17 Posts
This makes depressing reading. The issues are very real and it is very frightening when you have someone close to you in pieces and you don’t know what to do to support them. None of those impacted are looking for someone else to sort out their problems or take on the responsibility, they are geniunely struggling to find a way out. If you don’t mind, I am going to privately share these notes with one of them as its easy to start believing you are the only one to feel like this.
December 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm #220sarah13 Posts
That almost sometimes feels worse than the situation itself, the fact you are receptive to any suggestions and would try anything and happy to put the work in but the cupboard then seems bare. However much you want to sort it out yourself I am not sure you usually can, I have spent many an hour berating myself for just not trying hard enough when things went a bit tits up but realistically I didn’t have anything concrete I was trying at does that make sense?
I do wonder if it might be better if everyone dealing with the system was provided with an advocate who knew how it worked but wasn’t part of the system.
December 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm #221jim4 Posts
I am in the system myself. At times it is great. At this moment it is great. That is because things came to a head with me, proper crisis and I was sent to the crisis team. They have been wonderful. Coming out to see me twice a day. There were no inpatient beds ir I would have been admitted. However the crisus team is a short term thing. I have already seen them weeks longer than intended. I am now at the stage I am being seen every other day. The crisis team are great. The community team not so good. And that is with me already having a foot in the door. I went to my gp And said things were getting bad, he did nothing. Things escalated until I was in a and e.
I am now terrified with what will happen when I am discharged. I will go back to seeing my psychiatrist once every 3 months. I will have access to the community team duty worker, it is hit and miss who that is. I find the actual people are lovely and do want to help. Thy just are very understaffed.
For what it’s worth. The crisis team are accessible via nhs24 and I think sometimes when things are that bad it is better to try that direct than the gp route.
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