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to think that the NHS Mental Health Services are USELESS?

(125 Posts)
TeenTwinsToddlerandTiaras Tue 15-Jan-13 13:02:44

I have been involved with them now for 6 years due to suffering from OCD, extreme anxiety and depression. I swear that I got worse since being involved with them in addition to the stigma and feeling of worthlessness that being diagnosed with a mental health 'illness' brings.

I went for my 2nd follow up appointment in 6 months with an NHS psychiatrist yesterday and I told him that I did not want any more involvement with them as I could manage without their 'help' and I was told that they would not discharge me from their services as they were not convinced I was better hmm. They have had no involvement with me for 6 months since they threatened me with SS and I have never even seen that psychiatrist before! He insisted that I take a CRISIS card with the emergency helpline no. on even though I said I did not need it and never have.

I have been told that as I refused pills (tried them and they made me feel worse) I obviously did not want to get better and must be attention seeking hmm, threatened with social services as being a risk to my children even though the nature of my 'illness' means that I am probably the least likely type of person to harm anyone which has been very well documented (I did get an apology but that still put me in a headspin), told that I would have to live with this for the rest of my life and must learn to 'manage' with it (that took me to the brink I must say).

I was absolutely no closer to getting better until I had the good luck to find myself a good counsellor a few months back, after trying a few duds, who taught me to empathise with myself rather than continuously beat myself up all the time for my failure to get better so exacerbating it. In fact she told me that rather than being mentally 'ill' I was reacting to my experiences and the mess that I had become was totally understandable and even normal as I have been in pain and I had to heal that before anything else would help.

Childhood trauma and abuse, the death of a child and the serious illness of another, the loss of a home and financial security were the cause of my 'illness' and it has been a complete nightmare but I am glad to say the tide is now slowly turning and my terrified brain is starting to calm down grin but I really feel the NHS offered me nothing but tried to force pills down my throat and a short course of ineffectual CBT which did not even scratch the surface. Has anyone else found this to be the case?

mypussyiscalledCaramel Tue 15-Jan-13 13:18:48

Yes to CBT, I have an appointment with my 'local' Wellbeing service tomorrow, which is 20 miles away. I was refered to the Crisis team in November last year.

I have done CBT which was as much as a chocolate teapot because I already have coping strategies for whenever I get anxious (which is only ever in Sainsbury's book isle)

AD's were working, but due to my Mums Life Limiting Illness I NEED some support from elsewhere.

I have a childrens social worker who pops in now and again to see how I am, but that is it.

I wait with baited breath to see what happens tomorrow.

SilverBaubles33 Tue 15-Jan-13 13:29:03

Yes, utter crap in my experience. My SIL runs a department and would disagree; I think they do their best with limited resources.

My referral for therapy got lost, they forgot to follow up etc. Totally dispiriting and made me feel I really didn't matter.

Going private isn't always an option, but I budgeted and made it a priority. If you hVe health insurance, you're often covered too.

Biobliotherapy is much cheaper and doing exercises and hour along can be invaluable, especially for trauma, childhood issues and depression.

Feel free to PM me if it would help, I've got some good books.

Hope you feel stronger soon, all the best to you.

Mosman Tue 15-Jan-13 13:29:25

My daughter suffers with anxiety, has self harmed and in all honesty it bloody started after a trip to CAMHs. People critised me for trying to keep it low key but honesty half the shit she now doesn't hadn't occurred to her until the unqualified support worker read them out like a menu to choose from.
We've gone private, massive steps forward

SilverBaubles33 Tue 15-Jan-13 13:29:58

Hour along = journalling

SirBoobAlot Tue 15-Jan-13 13:35:12

Request to see someone different. Also request something like CAT or DBT - CBT is seen as the new 'fix it' for everyone, and it often appears to be forgotten that there are other options. I never got on with CBT.

Once you are seeing the correct people, and being helped in the correct way, they can be brilliant. CAMHS were useless, and the adult services have been superb, IME. A psych you have never seen before is certainly in no position to say how you are.

TeenTwinsToddlerandTiaras Tue 15-Jan-13 13:49:02

The thing that hit me yesterday was that while waiting for my appointment, several police officers came storming in as they had been called to remove someone from the unit. In my hearing, a staff member proceeded to relate the problem to them. It seems that the gentleman in question had presented himself to A&E and asked for help. He desperately wanted to be kept in and they had told him that he could'nt so he had refused to leave. I felt so sorry for him, he looked like he worked in an office and was calm when asking why they'd called the police when he needed help. He apparently had told them that he could not go home. They just did not give a shit.

I wondered if the man was going through something similar to what I had in that I was so terrified I was going mad that I wanted to be locked up, anything to make me feel safe.

KellyElly Tue 15-Jan-13 14:39:24

I think its a bit of a postcode lottery. I was very ill around ten years ago and the MH services in the area of London where I lived were brilliant. Apparently if I'd live one road from where I did I would have been in a different borough and wouldn't have had access to the help I received.

SirBoobAlot Tue 15-Jan-13 14:47:48

Teen sad It sounds as though they handled that terribly, to be honest. Especially seeing as the advice is in emergency situations to go to A&E.

badtime Tue 15-Jan-13 15:15:19

My job means that a have contact with a lot of different MH hospitals, CMHTs and Trusts, and I agree that they are very variable is what they can or will provide.

With regard to CBT, the problem isn't that it isn't appropriate for OCD and anxiety, it is that many people who set up as practitioners don't really know what they are doing, and try a one-size-fits-all approach. They should be aware if something isn't working, and respond appropriately (whether that would mean altering or stoppping the therapy).

I suffer from OCD and anxiety, and am currently doing a bit of CBT (albeit a particular variety which I chose because it seemed particularly appropriate for me). It is definitely helping. Despite the fact that the particular form of therapy is known for its harshness, several sessions were spent helping me to understand how my issues were rationally based, and that I shouldn't beat myself up about them, as this just makes things worse. It may just be that some counsellors and therapists are better than others.

I will say, though, that I am seeing my therapist privately, and I did go through over 50 profiles before I found one that I could imagine dealing with.

LeggyBlondeNE Tue 15-Jan-13 15:35:17

Agree with KellyElly - I had fantastic treatment from my local services a few years back (I responded very well to CBT personally, it fitted with my otherwise very logical, sciencey brain! But I was also asked at first assessment whether I was happy to try it). On the other hand, women I knew in the next town up had a terrible time from the local services for the same specialism.

Although actually, within my area, people who saw psychiatrists were less happy than those of us who saw psychologists or psychotherapy nurses. But wouldn't like to generalise against Psychiatry too much...!

Scheherezade Tue 15-Jan-13 15:57:40


MurderOfGoths Tue 15-Jan-13 16:07:28


I've lost count of the --useless- useful help we've been given. That's if you can even get past the GP into the mental health system. And that's in 4 different areas of the country.

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 15-Jan-13 16:16:45


For 25 years I was treated for depression. Counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, CBT, psychotherapy, group sessions, every anti-depressant under the sun at varying doses over the years. You name it, I've done it. It made not one iota of difference and I just got worse and worse and worse.

Then my husband took a job abroad. Shortly after arriving I saw the doctor for a repeat prescription. He was hmm, 'you don't seem depressed to me', and referred me to the hospital for assessment. Assessment took 2 months, full of questionaires, medical tests, meetings with different people with different specialisms. For the first time ever I felt that what these people concluded would be right because I could see how they were looking at the whole picture and leaving no stone unturned.

Turns out I am autistic. Suddenly the past 25+ years made sense and I finally found peace within myself. Although I admit I still feel very angry at all the professionals who completely missed it over the years and the suffering I endured as a result.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Tue 15-Jan-13 16:24:09


Currently stuck in a loop situation because my depression and PTSD won't respond to what the Community Mental Health Team expect, therefore I can't get any other treatment as I obviously don't want to get better.

Just desperate but no-one cares.

Fluffydressinggown Tue 15-Jan-13 16:32:54

My experience has largely been very positive if I am honest. My care has been excellent and there when I need it.

I think the problem is that the teams work on risk not quality of life. So people who are not a risk to themselves but feel terrible are often left without support. I am high risk so I get lots of support. But it shouldn't be like that.

I think the A&E advice you often hear is not very useful. If you go to A&E the crisis team will see you but it can be a long wait, and unless you are a significant risk to yourself they can really only offer distraction and coping strategies. I have had mixed experiences really, sometimes they are not helpful but sometimes they are.

I think one of the problems can be the way people talk to you when you have a mental health problem. I am very well educated but so many people speak to you like you ar thick. Or say things like 'you are a clever why do you do it?' As if you should know all of the answers!

But I think they do a great job with not enough resources. I am very unwell at the moment and my team worked hard to help me and yesterday when it became apparent I needed an admission it was done quickly and in s very supportive way.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Tue 15-Jan-13 16:40:06

Advice when planning suicide by overdose: Flush your pills down the toilet. Crisis team not interested other than to say that. I flushed the pills down my throat instead. Once on medical ward in hospital, junior doctor said 'you won't do something that silly again will you' and left without waiting for an answer.

There are very few inpatient beds in my area and they are desperate not to admit you even though you are a risk to yourself. Although to be honest, there are lots of reports of suicides whilst in the hospital, so I don't think it makes much difference where you are if you are stuck in this postcode.

valiumredhead Tue 15-Jan-13 16:41:52

Pretty awful ime.

MurderOfGoths Tue 15-Jan-13 16:42:16

"So people who are not a risk to themselves but feel terrible are often left without support."

Not always. I was suicidal and under the care of a crisis team. Who told me to refuse outside help or my son would be taken off me. Which is a great thing to tell a suicidal person.

manicinsomniac Tue 15-Jan-13 16:43:30

Pesonally, I find them to be wonderful.

But it probably depends on lots of things.

So, YABU to blanket statement like that but YANBU about your own experience.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Tue 15-Jan-13 16:49:21

Oh and my personal favourite was the (male) CPN who told me that I'd feel a lot better if I just got a boyfriend and had a good shag. Bearing in mind the reasons for my PTSD, which he knew, that was one of the most triggering things to say to me. I needed 14 stitches that night.

It seems particularly crap if people are being told they (obviously) don't want to get better if they don't comply with XYZ.

People should be given options and they and their experiences (including with treatments) should be respected.

shesariver Tue 15-Jan-13 16:52:25

YANBU saying that is your experience but YABU to believe this is true of all NHS Services. Im a Psychiatric Nurse working in a psychodynamic psychotherapy and I have seen personally how it can help people come to terms with past trauma. I love my job, and for this reason find it very rewarding.

Crawling Tue 15-Jan-13 16:53:13

I have to say services here are great the only flaw is as someone with a psychotic illness I have a high risk of admittance and the local ward has shut meaning I have to go over a 3 hour trip for the nearest one sad

KatyPeril Tue 15-Jan-13 16:54:41

YANBU. Kind of I found them utterly appalling until it actually got so bad I had a breakdown in public and got sectioned for the second time. Then once they believed that there was actually something wrong with me, and I wasn't attention seeking, they were very good.

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