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Feel really down after assessment with MH nurse today...

(13 Posts)
NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 18:14:45

I've been depressed for as long as I remember really, was diagnosed with it about 15 years ago. Last five years or so, i've lived with crippling anxiety on top.

I've tried many anti d's over the years, only one really worked but the side effects were so bad I had to come off it.

After my last request for a med change my gp suggested she refer me for counselling as it's been a problem for so long. I was happy about this, I think the root of the problem needs to be addressed. I NEED someone, a neutral party to talk to. I want to be happy...feel normal.

They sent me an appointment with the MH nurse. Dont get me wrong, he was lovely and put me at ease. So much of what he said made sense. But...he said he couldn't send me to a therapist/counsellor. He basically said they wouldn't touch me with a barge pole because I admitted to having consumed more than the recommended weekly alcohol units.

Yes, I know I drink more than is recommended, I do because im bored, frustrated with my situation and my kids give me hell. (it's about twice the weekly recommended). I feel he blamed everything on alcohol, when in fact I was very badly emotionally abused as a child with a fair amount of violence thrown in.

I thought this would be a step in the right direction...and i'm back to square one. Somehow, it's STILL my fault, as it always was.

fluffydressinggown Fri 16-Nov-12 18:23:05

Did they offer you any support to reduce your alcohol? Or instead of the counselling/therapy?

Was it an assessment for the CMHT or for IAPT? I know that where I live IAPT will not work with anyone who is considered to be risky and increased alcohol is a risk even though you know why you are doing it.

It is not your fault, you did not choose to be like this or feel like this.

NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 18:33:28

I have no idea fluffy, I dont really understand it all. I don't drink in the day, am fully functional, get on taking care of the house etc. When the kids are in bed I get in my jammies on and have a drink to relax as lots of people do. I fully understand that if im a person prone to mood swings etc then alcohol isn't going to help but i'm a them BLAMING my problems on that when I know it goes much deeper and that's what I need to let out....

fluffydressinggown Fri 16-Nov-12 18:42:17

I am not sure about the guidelines (I am a service user). I suppose they want to see you at base line and their concerns are that the alcohol can cloud that. However, alcohol misuse and mental health often go together so it seems strange that they can't support you with that.

Do you think the alcohol makes how you feel worse? Would you reduce your drinking?

Like I say, some services do have very strict guidelines for seeing people. For example they do CBT as part of the primary care trust but I was not allowed to access that because I self harm and that team won't see people who do that. I wonder if it is a similar thing for you in terms of alcohol.

NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 19:09:02

wishing my very well worded post hadn't fooked off to sock land. fluffy, they wouldn't see you for self harm? I'd have thought that would be of concern to them?

fluffydressinggown Fri 16-Nov-12 19:15:16

Sorry that was unclear.

I self harm and so the primary care counselling service can't see me, so I see the community mental health team who will deal with that. What I was trying (clumsily!) to say was I wonder if you are in a similar position? Maybe the assessment was for a team that can't see you if you drink to excess but there is another team you can see?

Sorry, I was not trying to make it about myself just trying to think of what might happened.

Did the MH nurse suggest anything to you? Do you have a follow up appointment?

NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 19:23:07

Oh no fluffy, I wasn't trying to be awful to you...I have in the past self harmed too. Many years ago. I've never had the help I needed, i'm trying to get that help now..but it it still seems like wading through mud!

fluffydressinggown Fri 16-Nov-12 19:38:08

I can see that you need help and someone to listen. This must be very difficult for you.

Did the MH nurse offer any further follow up?

NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 19:49:24

Yes he did, said to book as a new assessment so we'd have a full hour rather than 30 mins.

fluffydressinggown Fri 16-Nov-12 20:05:24

I think then maybe he was saying (not very clearly!) that the service he was originally assessing you for might not be the right service, but he will see you again to find the right service for you.

It is horrible to be waiting for support to kick in, it can be horrid waiting. It sounds like he understood your needs and is going to try to find a way to help you, which sounds really positive smile

NooneIsListening Fri 16-Nov-12 20:16:22

I do hope so, he was a great guy...maybe a little patronising at times but ok.

NanaNina Fri 16-Nov-12 20:39:00

NIL I don't understand about a therapist "not touching you with a barge pole" because of your alcohol intake. Lots of people with mental health problems "self medicate" with alcohol and it's not a good idea but if it helps to dull the emotional pain a bit I can see why people do it, but of course alcohol is a depressant as you probably know.

I think for childhood trauma (and you certainly suffered that), the form of therapy that is good, is psycho-dynamic because this helps you to unravel what happened in the past and in doing so helps you to be able to manage the emotional pain better, so that it doesn't control your life. You are never going to "get over" what happened as none of us can, with any kind of trauma, but we can over time make it more manageable.

I have intermittent depression which plummets me to the depths of despair on a fairly frequent basis (which is why I am on this thread) and of course I read about other forms of mental illness that MNs are suffering and many people who suffered childhood trauma are actually suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and that can of course include depression, but this is what needs to be treated. I have heard that there is a therapy EMDR (you will have to google it, I can't remember what it stands for - I think the EM is eye movement, but many people with PTSD have found it very helpful. Maybe you could talk to this CPN you have seen about PTSD and some help for this disorder.

I really do hope that you can get the help you desperately need.

Millie2013 Sat 17-Nov-12 12:14:21

I haven't read the rest of the replies, but didn't want to read and run.

I am a qualified counsellor and have worked in the NHS and a certainly wouldn't rule out working with someone with alcohol issues, in fact I have done so on a number of occasions, but this was in a GP surgery, when I had quite a bit of autonomy over whom I saw and I did my own assessments

That said, there have been occasions I have heard of when people have been denied counselling in certain services because they have been taking part in "unhealthy" behaviours, be it drinking, taking drugs and even in the case of severe eating disorders, on the basis that therapy may not be as effective in such people and may even just be too hard at that moment in time

The best thing in the above cases is some other sort of support to enable the person to get healthier so that therapy can work well and this in itself might be regular meetings with a nurse, counsellor or some other support worker, where the focus is on the behaviour and its modification rather than therapy per se, if that makes sense? Then counselling "proper" at a later date when the person might be in a better place to do the tough therapeutic work

I really hope you can find the support you need. I would be inclined to go back to your GP and explain what happened and get his/her take on it. In the meantime, these guys are very good A number of my colleagues have had dealings with them

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