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Mental health... am I being unreasonable about this?

84 replies

NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:09

I'm sorry to post this here, but I just need to know if I am having unreasonable expectations here or if I have a reason to feel hard done by... and if so, what can I do about it?

I've been having mental health difficulties since September... I was experiencing bad anxiety before that, but I was assaulted by two strangers in the late summer and it really sent me into a bit of a spiral. It took me weeks to tell my GP about it and by then things had got quite bad. She referred me for counselling on IAPT (it's not self-refer in my area) but they rejected it, as it was outside their remit. I was then referred on to secondary services, but when they phoned me they said it would involve having a social worker, being put on a vulnerable adults list and going to workshops about employment and integration into the community. I have a job I love, a stable family life and I think I'm pretty integrated into the community - so it seemed to me like a bit of a waste of their resources and I went back to my GP and asked if there were other options. She said she could refer me for psych evaluation at the hospital and made another referral. This was back in September, and it was supposed to be on some kind of urgent pathway.

Since then I've not heard anything, despite chasing! A few weeks ago I went to A and E because I felt so bad and I was having such scary thoughts (I won't go into it, but you can imagine what I mean). The psych liaison woman there was lovely and said that she would write to my GP to tell them to speed things up.

This week I've been feeling worse... and my GP told me that I'd get a call at the start of the week, but still nothing. I ended up going to A&E again because I felt so utterly desperate, but there were much more serious things going on and they sent me away. Today I called the SPA number and they said they have received my referral but it has been reviewed and the case has been closed because I have "not engaged" - but I never heard from anyone, despite chasing up many times, so I am not sure what I was supposed to do?

I just feel like I can't carry on like this... I'm so scared all the time and I sometimes have such bad thoughts. I feel like it must be my fault... Yet at the same time, the little part of me that still feels some self-worth thinks it's not right that this has happened.

So... basically, am I being unreasonable to think that this is not okay? I don't trust my judgements any more and I just can't keep asking and getting knocked back... I don't know how I can make this better.

OP posts:
NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:12

And wow, that was a long, long post... I am sorry!

OP posts:
PunchBall · 29/11/2019 19:16

Mental health services are dire. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Can you go private? You shouldn’t have to, but in my experience it’s the only way we’ve been able to get proper help.

NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:18

I can't really afford it right at the current time... and I'm also not sure what "option" to go for, it's hard without assessment to know what is appropriate? So I'm just wary of shelling out a lot of money that I can't really afford on the "wrong" treatment.

OP posts:
Jollitwiglet · 29/11/2019 19:18

I am sorry for what you have been through.

You're not unreasonable in the slightest. It's not ok, people shouldn't have to fight to receive medical care. Mental health resources are seriously lacking and people are suffering as a result

NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:18

But thank you for the suggestions.

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MrsMaiselsMuff · 29/11/2019 19:19

This is mental healthcare under the Conservatives. I am under secondary care and to get an urgent appointment with my psychiatrist there is a four month wait. Not many people even get to see a psychiatrist, so I do appreciate how fortunate I am in that respect.

They put barriers in your way because they have to get people off the waiting list somehow. A friend got referred via IAPT and because she admitted she drank occasionally she was told she was unsuitable and should contact Alcoholics Anonymous.

Mental health has always been underfunded, but in the last five years in particular it has reached crisis point. It's not going to get any better without political change.

Do keep presenting at A&E. You have just as much right to help as anybody else.

MrsMaiselsMuff · 29/11/2019 19:21

If your primary issue stems from trauma then EMDR can be very useful.

nothingcanhurtmewithmyeyesshut · 29/11/2019 19:24

I've been waiting a year on an urgent pathway referral and that is with them knowing I have an ever growing stash of pills to kill myself with. Mental health services are woeful.

PurpleFrames · 29/11/2019 19:25

I have to agree with the PPs. I started accessing services 2yrs ago and have just finished 10 sessions of physcology- before that it was just wait wait wait.

I ended up in hospital.

If you can I'd go private, I think they must have physiatrists but I've never been so not sure. A lot of my friends see private therapists, you can look online and see their medical registrations etc

Wishing you all the best

NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:25

I'm just scared to go back to A&E... they seemed so angry and I was wasting their time. The nurse I spoke to kept saying, "I've looked at your records and you have everything set up in the community"... but I don't have anything set up so I don't know what he meant. Maybe I really am losing my mind. I'm scared that I just can't understand what's going on any more. And I just can't fight for anything at the moment. So pathetic, I know.

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NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:27

Oh my God, everyone's stories are so awful and I don't even think I deserve help compared to that... but I feel so scared and now I know that nothing can change.

Thank you for taking the time to reply and I really do wish every one of you in this horrible situation all the very very best.

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AwkwardSquad · 29/11/2019 19:31

Do you have a local branch of the charity Mind, OP? I’d get in touch with them and see if they can help you through this maze. They have helplines as well, so don’t worry if there’s not a local branch

AwkwardSquad · 29/11/2019 19:33

Things can change, OP, you need someone to advocate for you. Try Mind.

AwkwardSquad · 29/11/2019 19:35

Sorry if this is coming across as pushy, OP, just thought I’d post you the link to the helpline.

Hand hold 🤝

Weezol · 29/11/2019 19:37

You mention assualt - I had counselling through Rape Crisis after an assault stirred up memories from 20yrs previous, they were very,very, good and I had about 18 months of help.

sleepymummy2019 · 29/11/2019 19:37

YANBU to be upset, of course you shouldn’t have to go through this to get medical treatment, it’s very unfair for everyone how under-resourced mental health services are.

It sounds like some error has occurred here. If they’re saying you’ve not engaged it sounds like they think they’ve offered you an appointment and you’ve missed it or something.

Since you’ve already tried SPA, GP etc and got no further, I would try getting in touch with PALS - the patient advice and poison service. There will be info on how to do this on the website of the trust that runs mental health services locally.

Getting in touch with them doesn’t mean you necessarily have to lodge a formal complaint if you don’t want to. But if you explain that you’ve been referred, had no contact, chased it up yourself and been dismissed, I’m sure they can help to clarify what’s happening and get you sorted wit your first appointment.

Honestly, I think PALS will be helpful. And once you’re being seen and are properly in the system then you can see what they have to offer. It may well be more than you expect, once you actually manage to wangle an appointment!

Good luck, I hope you’re feeling better very soon

TheSilveryPussycat · 29/11/2019 19:38

I was then referred on to secondary services, but when they phoned me they said it would involve having a social worker, being put on a vulnerable adults list and going to workshops about employment and integration into the community.

I'm wondering whether, because you turned this down, they ticked the box for "failure to engage" and this has affected subsequent decisions.

Has the GP precribed any medication? This can take a few weeks to kick in, if it doesn't then your GP will probably try another medication, which might suit your physiology.

sleepymummy2019 · 29/11/2019 19:38
  • Patient Advice and Liaison Service! Not Poison, that’s not going to be helpful 🤦‍♀️
TheBlueStocking · 29/11/2019 19:42

You'll get through this, OP. I know it's so rough fighting for help when you're too unwell to and you shouldn't have to anyway. But keep on pushing. You deserve it.

Bluetoothbitch · 29/11/2019 19:43

Do you have a local women’s centre you can go to? They often have counselling or support groups there that are free.
It’s awful OP it really is, call helplines if you need to, anything to keep yourself safe- you have every right to go to A&E when you feel like you need to.

Butterfly02 · 29/11/2019 19:43

I dont know the answer - but perhaps complain to practice manager and Pals.
Are there any local mental health charities that can help?
I've had first hand experience of mental health services and they are not great. I was diagnosed with PTSD after moving areas in January I was referred by gp in January my first appointment is in three weeks that's urgent!
Childhood services are not much better either.

NovemberRose90 · 29/11/2019 19:43

Even I got a little giggle from the "poison" service Smile
I am taking sertraline, originally 50mg just upped to 100mg a week ago and I feel really rocky since then... I know it's probably the transition.
I honestly don't have any intention to do anything stupid... but it gets harder. I keep just feeling like... why not?

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SlackerMum1 · 29/11/2019 19:44

Call your local MIND or branch of Rethink OP. Your being treated badly and passed from pillar to post. It’s no specific individuals fault but you deserve better and you (and everyone...) are certainly entitled to proper help.

Kbrooke08932 · 29/11/2019 19:45

I know it sounds simple but have you checked your GP has your correct telephone number? I know of cases in our local MH trust where the incorrect number has been passed on which then looks like the service user has disengaged as there is no answer on the phone. Admittedly it isn’t good practice to not follow through with a letter when no phone contact can be made but it does happen! Normal wait times for access to community services is 18 weeks.

ruthieness · 29/11/2019 19:47

Did the doctor offer you medication? Could you go back to the GP and ask for something to help - something called a PNR which stands for as and when.

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