Afraid to go to Mental Health Hospital

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by sylvia, May 16, 2010.

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  1. sylvia

    sylvia New Member

    I have been chronically depressed and have anxiety for 15 years, with highs and lows.
    One of the times it was very bad was in my first trimester of pregnancy with my daughter. I went to the public mental health hospital, to see how they could help me with my depression. I found the care to be impersonal and I was not willing to take medication because it may have had some negative effects on the unborn child.

    After my daughter was born, A long nasty custody battle began with my ex and I. This was 4 years ago and he dogs me to this day. I have felt so persecuted by him for 4 years and I suspect it will never stop for he is full of hatred in his heart. I have accepted this reality and I hope it changes in the future. In the court battle he subpoened my mental health records. He wanted to show the court that I was psychological unstable and medically incompliant. Having my private medical records and doctors note paraded on display was very humiliating and traumatizing for me. He brought family friends even his pastor from church to court proceedings. It was very expensive for me, I had to hire a professional psychiatrist to perform all kinds of tests on me to show that I wasn't psychotic or anything and that I was able to perform motherly duties. This psychiatrist gave testimony in court. My ex was unable to prove any of his accusations , we share joint custody. He was very successful, however at humiliating/shaming me. The mental health thing was only one of the battles of the custody fight. I felt betrayed (by the medical institutions) because I thought when I was seeking treatment it was confidential. I had no idea that it could be used against me in a court of law. And I think that my ex got enjoyment in my humiliation. He used to call me names like crazy and psycho for having to seek mental health services. He was very verbally abusive and cruel.

    I am currently at one of my lowest points in my life. I don't know how suicidal I am. I don't think I can commit suicide because I would not want my family members to feel pain from my decision. And I wouldnt want my daughter to think later in life that I didnt love her because I took my own life. But negative thoughts invade my head almost even against my will. I will try to do things that lead to enjoyment but negative thinking persists. I would say that 90 percent of my thinking is negative. And whenever I read something or hear something, my thought processes of it are usually cynical. I feel that my prospects in life are limited, I am in constant emotional pain.
    I think I could use some cognitive or behavior therapy. I feel hopeless and depressed and I think about death alot and even wish for it to come (not by suicide) , but as I said above can't act on it.
    I feel like I am in a prison in hell.

    I could seek health at the public mental health facility (the only place I can afford because it is free) but I refuse to go there if I can't speak freely, openly, honestly (isn't that the point?) to a non judgemental listener because of fear that anything I say can be used against me in a court of law again or exclude me from future employment opportunities. Seeking Help is never confidential , in the total meaning of the word.
    I cannot go through any more battles.I am not strong enough. And if I ever lost my daughter, I would end my life for sure.
    Does anyone have any advice for me on what to do?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2010
  2. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Although a court can order records to be pulled when deemed necessary, companies and individuals cannot. If you seek treatment and you do end up back in court it is possible it would be pulled again, but also remember that you can instruct your legal representative to try and prevent that either by preemptively trying to show the records as irrelevant, or to object if the other lawyer tries to bring your records up as evidence. To be honest, though, if it has to do with child custody the judge would probably rule that the records are relevant and allow them to be subpoenaed. In that case you could ask your psychiatrist to testify in your favour.

    I think you should also ask that hospital if they do outpatient care. There is a good chance they do, and if so you don't need to have the hassle of being an inpatient. A psychiatrist cannot force you into care unless they have reason to believe you are a threat to yourself or others, so if they ask be sure to say what you said here that you would not commit for your daughter's sake.

    Although you may have had bad experiences with doctors, doctors are different from one another. Unless you know the doctor that the free hospital would assign to you, you should not let preconceptions get in the way of what could be very helpful for you.

    I'm only familiar with the Canadian system, but I imagine there is something similar over there. All inpatients have access to a rights adviser that can - indeed has to if you insist - appeal to a board of doctors and other professionals to investigate the decisions of your psychiatrist and overturn them if they are seen as unjust.

    My advice is that you pursue outpatient care with the hospital and try to exercise as often as possible - exercise is a clinically proven method to fight depression. Hope it works out for you.
  3. Seems_Perfect

    Seems_Perfect Well-Known Member

    Hi. I'm sorry to hear about what a jerk your ex is, but you should be proud of yourself for fighting for your daughter and WINNING! Congratulations.

    I know what you mean when it comes to questioning the confidentiality of seeking help but Lovecraft has made really good points. You could also go by a private practice, explain the situation, and ask if they can provide a sliding scale which would reduce their standard hourly fee based on client income.

    I hope you realize that your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you b/c its obvious how much you love her. Its also really cool how you considered your family's feelings even when things seem dark. Its obvious you have a big heart so I'm wishing you the best.
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