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It is safe to go to the doctors

(31 Posts)
amillionyears Sun 09-Dec-12 16:44:52

I have been concerned lately, that there have been several different threads on MN, where posters with such things as PND,mental health difficulties etc, are too frightened to go to the GP to access help for themselves. They are afraid that their children will be taken away by social services.

I want to be able to carry on reassuring them, that unless there are very genuine obvious concerns that the children are in danger, that in the vast majority of cases, this is so not going to happen.

AIBU?

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 09-Dec-12 16:49:53

It's safe but when you are in the depths of mental health difficulties it can feel unsafe.

CailinDana Sun 09-Dec-12 16:51:41

YANBU although I know from having depression myself that your mind does a great job of taking even the smallest worry and blowing it totally out of proportion. We were both unemployed when I was depressed and I used to worry that spending 3 euros would bankrupt us, despite the fact that we had plenty of savings. No amount of reasoned argument from poor DH would convince me that we weren't going to end up homeless on the street if I bought a coffee and a cake.

What helped me was to realise that I was having these thoughts and that they wouldn't go away but that I could trust DH to know what he was doing and to steer me right. I sort of gave up thinking for a while and just let him do it for me - tough for him, but just what I needed to recover.

So I would say if you are suffering at the moment, if there's someone you can trust go to them and tell them your worries no matter how mad they might seem. Trust that that person can see things clearly, even if you aren't convinced that what they're saying is true, and try to listen to what they have to say. If they say you need to see a doctor, they're probably right and that's the first step to getting out of the hole you're in. Try to do it, please.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Sun 09-Dec-12 16:55:50

It certainly is safe.

Unfortunately there is a couple of posters (although my suspicions are that it is actually just one) telling 'their' tale. Usually involving a friend who is having their kids removed for no reason. Then that damn John Hemming bursts in banging on about forced adoption and ss being the child catcher.

The problem is that will most of us can see their stories are as full of holes as a pair of fishnets, those who are suffering mental illness may not.

I suffer with depression and during the down times I can imagine that I would have believed it. What this person/ people don't get (or care about) is that the situations become far worse when people don't seek help and they are helping to put children at risk with their scaremongering.

LynetteScavo England Sun 09-Dec-12 17:00:39

What hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman said.

littlewhitebag Sun 09-Dec-12 17:15:03

Speaking as a social worker i would always tell clients to seek help from their GP for any kind of mental health problem. Children are only removed if they are at risk and if you have supportive friends and family this will not happen. However if, for example, you were a single parent with no supports and you were perhaps having thoughts of harming yourself or your child, social services might step in BUT - only if all other avenues had been explored first.

amillionyears Sun 09-Dec-12 17:15:20

Thank you. Glad I started the thread.
I is not about me, btw.
It is that I am seeing more and more posters becoming more anxious about this, to the point of either delaying going, or worse still, not going at all.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 09-Dec-12 17:23:40

And in the cold rational light of day I can see exactly what you are saying. But back when I had severe depression I was convinced they would take my children away if I took anti-depressants, which of course they wouldn't have done but it was my experience as a child that helped colour that view and nothing to do with posters on the www. I didn't take any AD's and was probably more at risk of losing my children than had I've done. I can see that now but at the time the voice of depression was far, far louder (and safer) than anything else.

Shelly32 Sun 09-Dec-12 17:30:51

From my experience, if you go about anything, mental health realted or not they treat you like you're insane. I had bleeding, went, was turned away, went back and was diagnosed with child related piles. I now have pains in my rib area, went and had the whole 'pile thing' brought up and was told i was sufferring anxiety from tests and to 'move on'.

whathasthecatdonenow Sun 09-Dec-12 18:54:59

For me, it is 'safe' to go to the doctors, but I think it is important to not assume that it will make you feel better instantly. I always feel worse after an appointment for my MH. I found myself needing to argue that I was the rational one with the doctor. We debated the merits of suicide for a good 20 minutes but he ended the consultation with 'I never thought I'd have such an interesting conversation with a crazy person' so you can imagine how that made me feel. I don't feel 'crazy' even at my lowest, I still feel rational, just low.

amillionyears Sun 09-Dec-12 19:01:42

What your GP said was an insensitive thing to say whathasthecatdonenow.

Shelly32, I think if I were you, I would see a different GP in future.
Also,I think I am right in thinking that we can ask to see what is written in our notes. That might be useful for you to do.

hiddenhome Sun 09-Dec-12 19:36:59

As long as you don't tell them you're thinking about suicide then they're okay. You're usually given a tick box questionnaire and if you score highly enough you're given antidepressants and advice, perhaps a cd to watch. Some GPs will refer for counselling, but the waiting lists can take up to 18 months before you actually see somebody.

This is about all that happens. Perhaps if you go in like a crazy loon, with an obviously neglected toddler sitting in a filthy buggy and you start whittering on about killing yourself then you might find yourself on the receiving end of something more 'robust', but, in general, care is okay and antidepressants can do wonders smile

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 09-Dec-12 20:02:53

It's safe - I had PND and suffered with a lot of anxiety. I was ok for a while but am back on ADs now as a result of the stress surrounding my getting very ill and then passing away. Noone has ever mentioned social services.

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 09-Dec-12 20:03:25

Shelly32 you need a new GP

Latara Sun 09-Dec-12 20:12:17

Yes, try a different GP Shelly32 - despite my MH problems (ongoing) mine treat me very well for other health problems too, & take me seriously.

A good GP will do this.

whathasthecatdonenow Sun 09-Dec-12 20:15:24

hiddenhome even being suicidal gets you no more than a phone call from the Community Mental Health Team where I live.

BinksToEnlightenment Sun 09-Dec-12 20:17:24

It's safe. My doctor and receptionists were all lovely to me.

BrittaPerry Sun 09-Dec-12 20:18:56

I had very serious mental health problems and at no point was it suggested that I might lose my kids. I suppose if I had no one to watch them when in hospital things could be different, but I only ended up in there when every other avenue had been explored and I really wasn't even able to eat, sleep, talk (except to imaginary people) AND was actively trying to harm myself severely (ie suicide). Even then my DH had to keep on at them that I needed to go in.

awingandaprayer Sun 09-Dec-12 20:20:40

YANBU

I'm a psychiatrist.

I would not be alerting social services about a patient of mine regarding risk to children unless there was a risk to the child. Depression (or any other mental illness for that matter) and taking medication does not mean a parent is a risk - there would have to be
a whole lot of other concerns about their actual ability to keep their children safe. Suicidal thoughts are not something I would need to report either btw and if someone is feeling that bad then it really is important they seek help without fear.

5madthings Sun 09-Dec-12 20:32:14

Yes its safe.

My experience, hospitalised in a psychiatric unit with pnp and yes ss were involved but they were lovely and offered help once i was home, arranged for a home start? Volunteer, help with transport for my elder children to school and just home visit every now and then to see how i was.

They made it clear right from the start that it was ibvious my children were loved and cared for and they had no concerns for their safety or well being. They wanted to make sure it stayed that way, hence offering support. I had a male social worker who said his wife had suffered pnd many years ago when it wasnt recognised, i think rhat maybe made him more sympathetic? Anyway they were great. and then signed us off once i was on a more even keel.

I have since had another baby and it was noted i had had pnp before by the midwife but no flags were raised etc.

amillionyears Sun 09-Dec-12 20:32:24

Thanks for all of these posts.
That is what I thought. But I thought I ought to make sure my advice was still correct and up to date.
If people on MN are hesitant about going to the GP, I can refer them to this thread.

awingandaprayer Sun 09-Dec-12 20:37:12

And exactly what BrittaPerry said.
Btw the situation you mention ie if there hadn't been anyone to look after your children whilst you were in hospital would be one of the rare situations where social services would have been involved to find somewhere for the children to be whilst you were in hospital. Whilst not ideal it would have been for the minimum amount of time possible until you were out of hospital again. (Sorry to hear you had such difficulties getting a bed)

Even the most serious mh problems do not mean you can't be the best of parents.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Sun 09-Dec-12 20:46:13

I have three diagnosed mental illnesses. All it meant when I had my son was that I was in constant touch with a psych nurse in case I devolved at all and needed help.

Luckily I had no additional mental issues and have a lovely 3.6 year old. grin

amillionyears Sat 22-Dec-12 07:46:12

I am bumping this thread again today, because I am still coming across mums on here who are scared to go to their GP when they think they may have depression.

akaemmafrost Sat 22-Dec-12 12:24:17

Well I went when I was having my breakdown to get antidepressants (didn't work incidentally) part of which was massive panic attacks. I actually told the doctor I was scared that seeking help for my panic attacks would bring attention of the SS services to my children and she said "well worrying about that would be enough to give ANYONE a panic attack so stop!"

She was great. She checked I was supported, which I think is the main thing they are interested in and then asked me to come back every three weeks till I was feeling better or inbetween if I felt worse.

I would still be cautious with a new GP though I have to say. But if you have a good relationship with them then I am sure it's fine.

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