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Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by black_rose_99, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Okay, things are getting real now, and I'm terrified.

    I've never really sought "proper" help for what I feel. I kind of convinced myself that it wasn't that bad, that I was being oversensitive, that everyone feels this way and no one is ever actually happy. I made half-hearted attempts at counselling several times, but was never really honest, and so it ended up being pointless and I would just figure I'd do it on my own, or that it was an innate flaw in me that I couldn't "fix" how I felt.

    In the last year or so, I've become more and more aware that what I feel has begun to affect my social functioning, and that it's probably a bit more serious than I used to tell myself. I've become more aware of being angry at work because I'm unhappy at home, and being morose at home because I'm angry at work, and never ever really having a "good" time when I'm surrounded by people. It's noticed at work by my closest colleague, who tells me that I should call in sick because otherwise I'll lash out at people. This is scary. The words people use to describe me now scare me.

    So, I've made a conscious effort to actually get proper help. I'm seeing another counsellor, an appointment offered through my workplace, and that took me the best part of a year to work up the courage to get. I've been referred by my GP to the local hospital for assessment and treatment. And this is the bit that's scaring me now. They've just called and I've actually spoken to them and have a screening assessment on Thursday. And I'm terrified. I'm scared that I'm not sick enough. I'm scared that I'm too sick. I'm scared that this referral won't be enough. I'm scared of getting stuck in a loop of hospital referrals. I'm scared of this not being the right treatment. I'm scared of asking my manager for time off to go to these appointments. I'm scared of once again not being open enough. I'm scared of having hospital admissions on my record if I ever want to work in healthcare. I'm scared of not getting better, and I'm scared of being better. This is all I've known, I've started to identify with it. So who am I if I'm not like this anymore?

    I'm scared that, at the end of the day, I'm not enough.
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    You have done a great thing here getting some help for you Recognising you are not well. There is no need to be afraid they assessment be yourself okay and in the end they will help you with meds therapy but they will. You should be very proud of your accomplishment for getting the appt. No need to be afraid you have started a good thing here okay. Maybe people with mental illness still work health field doctor nurses are all human and suffer the same as anyone else. please know you will be okay.
  3. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Hi Eclipse

    Thanks for your reply and support. I am trying so hard not to be scared and recognise that this is the first step to help. I just can't stop the "what ifs" in my brain. I still haven't spoken to my manager - I asked her if we could speak and she said she'd come round and still hasn't - she forgets - but it's putting me on edge :(
  4. CatherineC

    CatherineC Staff Alumni

    It is scary hun, what you're feeling is perfectly natural. You've made a huge decision to face your mental health issues and do something about it. Anyone would be scared and its okay to be scared.
    You're about to go on a 'big journey' and you're bound to be apprehensive about that. I presume that you're in the UK? You say that you've arranged counselling through work - is that something that's generally offered to the staff? I know that my work place offers counselling but I've never taken them up on it. You get six sessions with my employer, is that the same for you?
    The stuff at the hospital - I can talk you through it if you like so that you know what to expect. Mental health services on the NHS aren't great so its good that you've got the back up of the counselling.
    You needn't worry that you're not 'ill enough'. You won't be the worse they've ever seen but that doesn't mean that you don't need, and deserve, help. There is a danger that you can get lost in the system but as long as you keep your GP appointments up, that shouldn't be a problem. You will also have to accept that its going to take time to find the right combo of meds and time for them to work. You'll get there in the end though if you persevere.
    Re: asking for time off for the appointments. Under UK law, you're classed as having a disability and time off for treatment is a reasonable adjustment so work have to give you the time off. There are all sorts of other reasonable adjustments that you're entitled to as well but without knowing who you work for (it depends on the size of the organisation) I can't really say what they are until I know more. Can you pm me the name of your work? I'd be able to give a lot more advice if you can. I do a lot of work on Disability Discrimination as part of my own job so I've organised lots of reasonable adjustments over the years.
    Stay strong, you're doing exactly the right thing and we're all here to support you
  5. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Instead of waiting and worrying can you approach her again Like said legally they have to give you time off work for appointments due to health reasons. I think once things get started you will feel less anxious but know we are here okay if you have any questions hugs
  6. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Hi Eclipse and Catherine,

    I haven't totally worked out all the cool quote stuff you do on other people's posts Catherine, so bear with me :)

    I did approach my manager and asked her for some flexibility for time off for appointments. She said absolutely no worries - that was just my panicky brain kicking in. However, departmental rules are that any time off we have for appointments needs to be made up. Catherine, I'd be really interested in what you have to say about that..? I think it makes sense, but I'm not too sure what the law states - I think there is a LOT wrong with our "departmental rules" that go against what the law might say, but I'm a bit clueless. I work for the NHS, so the staff counsellors are there - they're free, and I don't think there's a limited number, but I will know more when I see her next week. If that's not enough information Catherine, let me know, and I can let you know which trust. I approached the counsellor with a view of asking her for referrals to more specialised services, so not sure what will come of it.

    I'm now slightly worried about the referral to the CBT centre in my local area - because I've just been told I need to move out by the end of February, so I don't know whether I need to be transferred to another psych unit or not. I guess I can ask on Thursday when I have the telephone consultation. I just feel a bit defeated - it took me so long to work the courage up for this referral and I'm scared if I say I might need to move from the area they won't accept me for any treatment programs. Do you think I should mention it?

    I would love to know Catherine what to expect from the hospital. I've never done it before - I've seen plenty of counsellors but now I feel like I'm stepping things up a notch and I have no idea what to expect. I have a telephone screening on Thursday, and I don't know what will be asked, or what will come from that.

    I'm also really nervous about what having a referral to the psych unit could do for me career wise. I know there are anti-discrimination laws about not hiring people based on mental illness, but I want to work IN mental health. I want to turn that into a positive - and would plan to say things in any interviews about how I have first hand experience and it's taught me what it's like to live with mental illness - but the thought that this is forever on my record does scare me.

    Thank you both for your help and support xx
  7. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    The psych unit in my hospital actual prefers hiring someone that has had experiance with mental health either themselves or through family members. They see it as a positive really when hiring because they realize we have more understanding more compassion more respect I don't know but i don't think you will have trouble at all getting into that part of the health sector take care
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