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How to get oneself proper psychiatric care/ hospitalisation when suicidal?

(16 Posts)
wonderstuff1989 Tue 16-Jun-09 22:46:56

Hi there, I have been feeling seriously suicidal this last month due to a combination of underlying depression and personal issues too boring to go into here.

I've rung the Samaritans and my GP, am on 40mg citalopram daily plus an antipsychotic and keep trying to explain that the only thing keeping me alive at the moment is my two sons but I'm scared that one day perhaps soon I will do something irreversible.

No one seems to take me seriously- probably because on the surface I am a working middle class mother who smiles a lot and hasn't actually made a suicide attempt. But I am obsessed with suicide, have made a plan of how I will do it, writing notes to my sons and parents etc. I tend to ring my poor mum once a week or so when I really feel on the verge of doing it and she will usually 'talk me down' by telling me how much the dcs need me....

(a major problem is that I don't have full time custody of them thus spend half the week alone and am facing a very bitter residence battle with my estranged husband. I was unfaithful to him, my behaviour over the last year has been utterly thoughtless and dreadful due to a level of despair and agitation stronger than I've ever experienced over a long history of clinical depression. The guilt I feel at the moment is crippling, I feel I deserve to die for the things I have done....and also find myself longing for death as peace and freedom from pain).

Some part of me still clearly wants to live or I wouldn't be around now, and I know my boys would never forgive me for leaving them, but I need more help. My question is how do I get myself proper help or an admission to hospital when it seems you actually need to make an attempt at suicide before anyone realises you have an acute problem?

oneplusone Tue 16-Jun-09 22:55:09

Sorry probably won't be much help but didn't want to read and run.

What did your GP say apart from give you a prescription? Could he give you an urgent referral to a psychotherapist?

Otherwise it seems your only option is to go private if you have the funds. Or you could try your local women's centre, or perhaps there are some local charities that might be able to help?

Have you confided in any RL friends about how you are feeling?

Well done for posting, I'm sure somebody will be along soon with some proper advice. x

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:58:10

I have been told, if you just turn up at the hospital and say that you need help and wish to admit yourself then you can. I'm not sure how accurate this is though so I'm hoping someone with some more info comes very soon. smile

YanknCock Tue 16-Jun-09 22:59:10

I have a good friend who's had the same problem getting proper help. Has your GP referred you to a community mental health team or is s/he still trying to manage your medication?

In my friend's case, I think she ended up going to A&E and getting admitted from there. She didn't attempt suicide exactly, but she cut herself a lot due to Borderline Personality Disorder.

I'm surprised the GP hasn't done anything further, if you are expressing suicidal ideation to him/her and making plans. Can you demand a referral to a proper psychiatrist? If not, or if taking too long, try A&E instead of phoning your mum next time you are feeling on the verge.

Lotster Tue 16-Jun-09 23:11:39

Sorry you find yourself in such a dark place. I hope you can find your way back to happiness with your boys and your life. If you don't get any help through the GP/hospital channels, perhaps you could try a short residential stay at a sanctuary/centre like this on in London they don't charge and could give you some time away when needed?

wonderstuff1989 Tue 16-Jun-09 23:15:04

i was discharged by the community mental health team several months ago as I was still depressed but 'stable' on an increased dose of citalopram.

My estranged husband was paying for me to see a private psychiatrist at one point who diagnosed me with cyclothymic personality disorder (a 'milder' version of bipolar) and unipolar depression, but to be honest I didn't feel he was doing much more than fire questions at me every week.

I may well follow the example of Yank's friend and go to A and E ( I have been once before but was sent back home, I think they notified the GP and that was when the community mental health team got involved but they took ages to actually see me).

I feel as if I am just expected to 'get on' with everything while my sanity is pretty much on a thread. Because I have not 'acted out' by harming myself I'm not considered a risk worth spending public money on.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 16-Jun-09 23:17:54

A&E have psychiatrists and mental health nurses available 24/7. Please do go. Tell them that you have been making plans. If you do not feel well enough to go in by cab, call an ambulance.

I really hope you get some help soon x

RockinSockBunnies Tue 16-Jun-09 23:18:32

Have you been referred to the Community Psychiatric Team and are you under the care of a dedicated psychiatrist?

If not, either demand a referral from your GP and outline that you are suicidal (many will try and sweep it under the carpet and tell you that psychiatric wards aren't the kind of place that you want to be in, especially if you're coherent and middle class). If you honestly feel that you'll be safer in a psychiatric hospital then demand a referral. If, in the meantime, you feel increasingly desperate, then go to an A&E and state that you are sucidial and don't feel safe. They can then make sure the on-call psychiatrist sees you.

Be aware, however, that psychiatric units are truly bleak places and very scary the first time that you're there. Would it be worth giving the Maytree place that Lotster linked to a call now and talking to them? That could be an alternative.

I sympathise in terms of the agitation - sometimes it can be worse than the depression. Do you have anyone you can talk to? Can a friend come and stay with you or vice versa?

Lotster Tue 16-Jun-09 23:24:51

Agree the units are not places you really want to be. My niece has bi-polar disorder and has been in and out of them for years. She found a residential place like this far more helpful, with actual focus on therapy/healing as opposed to just drugging you up to keep you safe and calm sad

wonderstuff1989 Tue 16-Jun-09 23:25:28

yeah I may well call the maytree place.

Rockinsock, one of my problems is I don't have any sympathetic friends locally. I've alienated my husband of course and the other mothers I have met here (SE London) don't want to know or talk about anything 'negative'.

I don't relish the idea of a psych ward as have heard they are living hell for the non-psychotic (and not very nice for the psychotics either I imagine), but it may be that I need restraining from acting out as I'm getting so obsessed with dying.

YanknCock Tue 16-Jun-09 23:54:57

My friend is also in SE London, and she had a similar issue with mum friends shying away from her. I used to live there too but am now up north. Have to say when I was having my own mental health issues, Oxleas Trust was complete rubbish. This was about 5 years ago though, maybe they are better now?

My friend did end up in the psych ward a few times and seemed to think it wasn't too bad. But....it seemed to be just a holding place so she wouldn't hurt herself, and she didn't get much face time with psychiatrist or counselors...all that happened when she was out. After she was out she was subjected to long waiting lists for things, despite still being suicidal....the only advice she got was 'well if it gets really bad, go to A&E and we'll admit you again'. Seems very hard to get mental health care in the community.

Given that you are known to the CMHT, could you phone them directly even though you've been discharged?

namechangersad Wed 17-Jun-09 00:21:03

It makes me so angry when I hear of people suffering like this. I lost my sister in law to either suicide or a cry-for-help, depending on how you want to interpete it. She was desperate for help but managing to maintain a normalish life of sorts (and was therefore not given the attention she needed) An actual attempt at suicide should never be a cry for help! We, as a society, need to recognise those cries before they ever get to that stage.
wonderstuff - you dont "deserve to die". And I promise you (being in a situation of attending two funerals this week) the world is a better place WITH you in it, and you must keep remembering that.

I am in SE london. If you want coffee and cake and a shoulder, drop me a line at therefinery at gmail dot com.

Dont be ashamed to force your GP/caregivers, to admit you to care if that is what you need, and perhaps it is. Just please don't suffer alone and do anything rash.

namechangersad Wed 17-Jun-09 00:23:38

Just to clarify, when I said "An actual attempt at suicide should never be a cry for help!" what I meant was, that we shoulld not have to attempt suicide in order for a cry for help to be heard......in case that sentence could be interpreted wrongly.

wonderstuff1989 Wed 17-Jun-09 08:53:39

Yeah I agree namechanger, one of the things I plan to do when I get well (!?) is try to campaign or publicise the serious lack of care for people suffering severe depression in our communities. It simply adds to the stigma of being 'weak' and 'negative' which adheres to being depressed in most people's minds.

I notice that even the Maytree, which looks great, only takes people for a maximum of 4 days...what are we to do with the rest of our lives?

Namechanger, a moot point for me is whether I deserve to live...my therapist tells me I've got a massive punishment complex, but I have behaved with no thought for the consequences and am now taking them in the form of being alone most of the time and hated by the person who used to love me. I am terrified of losing my kids in a residence battle with him but on my worst days I feel they're better off without me...as to the world being a better place with me in it, I just flat can't believe that....

would like to talk sometime, I may email you. Rest assured I am not this much of a downer in RL, am quite chatty and lively, most people are shocked to find out that I am clinically depressed (which may be part of the problem). x

flamingobingo Wed 17-Jun-09 08:57:33

You need some psychotherapy, in fact I would urge you to have a lot of psychotherapy. Can you afford a therapist yourself?

wonderstuff1989 Wed 17-Jun-09 09:09:22

yeah flamingo I am seeing one. Twice a week. She thinks this particular extended crisis is about issues arising which have not been dealt with before but that doesn't help much to actually deal with the level of mental pain I'm feeling.

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