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How do you deal with depression and trauma alone?(3 Posts)
OK, I do't need help with the treatment part unless anyone has an idea specifically I've not tried yet. Including it to avoid the inevitable "go to the NHS". I really need tips and suggestions of self help books etc. If that's ok, ignore rest of post.
I've read "Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman (the opposite to what NHS seem to do) and it feel like I'm missing vital parts needed to heal. I'm doing my best and have been studying (as unable to work) and things, and am in many ways much better than 6 yrs ago, but then I'm finding it hard to come to terms with the "lost" time and some stuff that's happened in that time, and generally feel overwhelmed with the way the MH team view me, really drags me down when trying to feel ok about myself. Also feel an idiot for being traumatised by things, even the stuff that others find shocking (although feel equally messed up about stuff that others don't understand, so...?)
Tried for past six years to get some help from the NHS. Just get assessments. Don't even get them anymore. They refuse to take in my actual symptoms and instead make up their own story. They say I must feel bad because of all the nonexistant crazy shit I must do - they won't listen when I explain the horrible memories and nightmares even though thats why I went for help in the first place. I don't do crazy shit. I wake up feeling awful for no apparent reason. I'm susceptible to arseholes taking advantage and have had some private therapy that has helped with that (as has perusing Relationships on here!) but still feel "backlog" of past. Within the six years I've had experiences that have traumatised me, and they are starting to really bite now. I've only ever been told I should "distract" myself so seem to have developed some kind of dissociation.
Im really struggling and feel suicidal often now because there is no hope. I can't afford private therapy anymore. There is a particular thing keeping me here that will cease to be the case at some point (2-4 yrs at a guess) which which be very difficult in itself. I dont have children (i'm 31) and may never have the chance which is one of many reasons the future seems nonexistant, somehow.
I had a CPN about 5 yrs ago, she was supposed to help me with stuff until I was "ready" for therapy (ie. not homeless and just out of an abusive relationship. Homelessness not my fault btw - mentioning that as they seem to see things like that as "chaotic lifestyle" and blame patient. Have now been settled in own flat for several years, never late with rent etc). Had met therapist a couple of times and she was really cold to me - I've now met others who have seen her and found same thing, so it's not just me. Anyway she decided I was "too upset" cos of (then) recent breakup, which is shit to someone in that situation but anyway. The therapy never happened. They kept saying I was on waiting list but then I mysteriously wasn't (from what I can gather from other sources it's been cut, but they won't confirm or deny that is the reason).
Since then have only been assessed for shorterm therapies and because I dissociate a bit (I'm still "here" just drifty when memories are strong, which obviously happens when I'm being assessed and asked about my past) which she seemed to see as my fault somehow, as if I was inadequate. They said I was unsuitable for therapy but I think it's just unsuitable for their limited range of therapies as they now only seem to do brief interventions. I can't actualy find out anything though because I get "see your GP" repeated at me parrot-fashion. On seeing my GP he says there's nothing he can do apart from refer me - he obvs cant make them see me (or offer something suitable if they did). I knew someone who was someone getting indepth therapy through her GP and she reckons you can go and ask for it but mine claim there is no such thing as primary care interventions at that level. I can't seem to find out anywhere what is supposed to be available, or what the criteria are (have also been assessed by primary care therapy services, usually CBT, several times, and they signpost me to secondary care.)
Services are known to be atrocious in this area, although I haven't seen actual stats.
Anyway yeh. So after any tips for getting better without them basically!
Recently I've really noticed the effect of things on me, I have a v strong startle reflex for eg. and certain situations/sights set off memeories and fear.
are they saying you're not suitable for therapy because they are worried about your safety? Just that I've had that in the past. As things often get worse before they get better in therapy you have to be confident that you can keep yourself safe. If they see that you are a bit on the edge then your problems are more about dealing with the here and now rather than the past. Then once you can deal with now, then you can deal with the past. If you can see what I mean.
I'm slightly confused over which times etc. you are talking about, so...
The therapist near the beginning (the one I found cold) felt I was "too upset" for therapy at that time, but I was told it just put me to the back of the waiting list and I'd have therapy in due course. I understand the safety aspect, but not having someone I could talk to about things made me feel worse/more unsafe. However I didn't self harm (well, very occasionally ie. every six months on average, and not severely) and I was very clear there were good things in life and I just needed to deal with some stuff/felt I needed therapy. I did feel suicidal when the memories and things were overwhelming but I felt therapy was a way out so I think it would have helped with that - having hope. CPN was good but only saw her every few weeks for about 6 months. My discharge from the CMHT wasn't clear and seemed hurried and questions were shut down - but I was reassured I was still on waiting list for therapy (six months later found out not true).
More recently they dont' think I am suitable because they are either focussing on nonexistant but assumed problems, or because I dissociate a bit as mentioned so don't fit their approaches of brief behavioural interventions. They have no concern for my safety (or don't care/not their remit?) at present, which is odd as I feel my suicide risk is going up. It's the lack of hope, the lack of a way forward, and having to cope with the past alone.
Re. dealing with the here and now so can focus on the past - what do you mean? Do you mean I need to be able to cope with the here and now before therapy? I basically cope with the here and now, but obviously I struggle because I feel shit/low motivation/nightmares etc. And when things have happened in the here and now that are very upsetting (up to and including abuse in relationships) surely one needs support with these sometimes? Especially if they tap into past things? Eg. I became aware during private therapy that I was an abusers dream - compliant, fearing conflict etc. The CMHT, OTOH, seem to have a much more blaming attitude as well as screening out anything one has found traumatic and needs to talk about. They insistently focus on the here and now at the expense of the past, in fact. Which doesn't seem to make sense, because they also brush aside horrible stuff happening in the present, as if you're doing something wrong by finding it hard.
Not that there is usually anything dreadful in the present for me, but there was a big thing a few yrs back I told them at the time and was brushed off with appalling "advice" (seriously abusive relationship involving huge deception, hadn't even asked for advice just needed some MH support for ongoing issues as well). They can't seem to grasp my main problem is coping with my past. I feel hopeless because I have no treatment.
But I dont want to talk about them because it goies round in circles. I want to find a way to get better without them.
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