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NHS waiting list for treatment for acute anxiety

(10 Posts)
gormenghast Tue 25-Feb-14 13:16:39

I have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years, but a series of physical illnesses just before Christmas brought me down very low, much worse than I've ever been before, even feeling suicidal. I am now under the care of a mental health nurse.She brought a psychologist to see me just over a month ago who promised to feedback to me.Nothing from her yet. They also promised to let me know how long the waiting list is for therapy.I am doing my best to do my breathing and relaxation exercises and to be positive, but it is a very frightening illness (especially when one has had panic attacks -not now thank goodness), but how long does one have to wait?If I had a broken leg it would be fixed immediately. I am on tow different types of antidepressant plus diazapam for the panicky periods. How long have other people had to wait feeling so shitty?

Messupmum Tue 25-Feb-14 13:41:26

I waited a year for group psychology.

SilverStars Tue 25-Feb-14 14:03:43

Could the nurse do talking therapy with you? Many people under a CMHT never see a psychologist as the nurses offer the treatment.

If it is group treatment then it depends when a slot or new group starting. Individually varies. I waited 10 months for my 6-8 sessions with a psychologist if that helps.

SilverStars Tue 25-Feb-14 14:08:14

The problem is that if you compare with physical illnesses you have had the treatment to fix you - medication. Talking therapy does not have a guarantee of healing people. It does not always help. Plus since the NHS opened up counselling to anybody, as can self refer in most areas then the waiting lists can be very long. My sibling broke their leg, by the way and plaster cast " fixed it" but when still could not walk after got told not ever refer to physio for at least 8 weeks and then wait for treatment, so it is not sadly as simple a solution. Private treatment is the only way for speed sadly in an over stretched NHS.

You may find shorter wait for group treatment and shorter wait for counselling with a psychotherapist or trained nurse not a psychologist. Why not ask your nurse? Who should be offering therapeutic intervention as well.

Are there any other things that may help? Time off work?

gormenghast Tue 25-Feb-14 19:04:36

Hi SilverStars
I agree with you that I've had the medication, but I'm still so anxious that I wonder how long it takes to kick in. when I first started on antidepressants I was nowhere near as bad as I am now and they seemed to kick in quite quickly.Does anyone know how long it takes a new antidepressant to kick in properly. My GP says it can sometimes take weeks..I do breathing and relaxation exercises
but I seem to be doing them all day in order to quell the anxiety
I am already off work with severe depression and anxiety and there's no way i could work at the moment.I am going to look into seeing a
private therapist by the way.Any suggestions as to other coping strategies.

Dolallytats Tue 25-Feb-14 19:23:29

Waiting lists can be huge, although it depends on where you live. I'm in East London and I only had to wait a couple of months. Private counsellors tend to be quicker and some can also offer a sliding scale of fees if money is tight.

I've found some books on anxiety useful, there are some good ones on Amazon. Remember, no matter how uncomfortable anxiety feels, it can't hurt you. Easy to say, I know, but it's true-goodness only knows I find it hard to remember this!! (anxiety for 10 years and agoraphobic for 4 years)

Good luck.

fempsych Tue 25-Feb-14 19:26:49

Generally I wod expect you to have ha a letter saying tht you were on a waiting list etc so chase it up maybe? Also look for self referral IAPT in your area. They do self-referral talking therapies. Or you could work your way through some self-help stuff maybe? Anxiety is rubbish but things can get better.

SilverStars Tue 25-Feb-14 23:29:54

I found listening to the same relaxing cd of sea music or something helpful - never thought I would use it but to start with I just tolerated it and after a while I needed it for shorter periods.

Exercise really helped me as well. Have you tried yoga or Pilates. The Pilates could be a class or DVD style? Some places offer small group or 1:1 classes, to teach you the breathing. I did Pilates when pregnant for anxiety and it helped so much.

I was told by the NHS psych I saw that if I always did what I had always done I would always get what I always got. Most helpful mantra. I had to look at my own situation and identify unhelpful things and actually make some changes or change my expectations. To be honest that helped more than medication; medication helped me get through but did not resolve any of the stressors. I had to change jobs, reduce commute, went part-time, stopped one difficult activity, stopped being a perfectionist about certain matters etc...

If you want a private psychologist rather than a psychotherapist one good place to look is at your local private hospital to see who works from there. Also search for qualified staff where you live who are qualified. Psychologists have medical qualifications that is standardised unlike counsellors. There are good counsellors out there too.

MmeMorrible Wed 26-Feb-14 00:17:15

Is there an NHS recovery college in your area? Lots of MH Trusts are running these to enable patients, carers & staff to access various courses to learn self help techniques etc. A friend of mine accessed our kick line and found the courses on anxiety management helpful when her DS was very ill with social anxiety problems.

Try googling recovery college and your local MH Trust name to see if there's one near you.

gormenghast Sun 02-Mar-14 12:45:56

No fempsych I haven't had a letter yet from the psychologist and it's been six weeks since I saw her.I am chasing it up through my psych nurse, but there's a limit to how many times I can ask her.I don't want to alienate her as she has a huge caseload.In fact I think the problem with mental health is lack of finance. I have met so many people who have been waiting for ages and out of desperation have gone to private therapists.I now have done the same thing and had my first consultation with a private counsellor/psychotherapist. She told me if I stayed beating up on myself things would never change. I must be kind to myself and be forever mindful of the negative thoughts in my head. Already after a week things are beginning to improve.

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