What can you do when all else fails?

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Bart, Nov 20, 2014.

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  1. Bart

    Bart Banned Member

    In the UK. I’ve been through the ‘mental health’ mill. It starts off with a visit to the doctor where you explain you’re depressed. They prescribe anti depressants. They may then switch anti depressants several times before referring you to a psychiatrist. You visit a psychiatrist who then puts you on a long waiting list for therapy. When you eventually get your therapy, it’s something like ten sessions. That fails. If you have private medical insurance, you can go into a private clinic, but eventually (when the money runs out) they’ll tell you that there’s nothing more they can do for you, and goodbye.

    Then you get into a crisis situation. To be fair, there is quite a good structure in place. You can call a CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) number and they’ll come and see you at any time of the day or night. If you’ve consumed any alcohol, they’ll turn up with the police. They take you onto their ‘books’ and you get seen by a psychiatrist who essentially just prescribes medication according to how depressed (or whatever) you are. They assign a care coordinator who visits and/or calls you periodically. If they feel that you are in real danger, either to yourself or posing a threat to others, they’ll put you in hospital. Your experience in hospital is so bad that you’ll do anything to get out.

    You ‘play ball’ and get released back into the community carrying the memory of how awful it was in hospital, which carries you for a while. But eventually the mists of time permit you to forget how bad it was, and before you know it the cycle is repeated. In between, your care coordinator and psychiatrist will talk to you and probably prescribe stronger medication.

    It seems to me that the medical profession reaches a point (understandably) where they just think ‘You’re defective and unrepairable - we’ll just manage you as best we can’. Is it any wonder that this message gets through to you and you end up feeling suicidal?

    I’ve reached the point where I’ve exhausted all avenues to get better. Ergo I must be defective beyond repair. Must I live the rest of my life in such misery? Can I do anything to make life bearable?

    They say that money doesn’t buy happiness. Well, It certainly makes being unhappy a lot more bearable. Which brings me to a point. What it costs to keep a patient in a hospital for one week is far more than if you sent the patient on a seven day cruise – top stateroom.

    Then just when you try and self-manage, the medical profession comes back at you. They tell the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) about your health. Even if you are in good health (As I was a few months ago) they can make mistakes. They sent a form back to DVLA saying that I was an unstable psychotic depressive. DVLA then quickly revokes the driving license, understandably, and you then have a devil of a job getting their mistakes corrected. But that’s not the end of it. Even after DVLA accepts that you are not as was first described, they use it as license to enquire into every corner of your health. Dig long enough and sure you’ll hit pay dirt. So, you go from stable to utterly depressed and feeling that the whole world is out to get you. End result: you want to give up. And you’ve exhausted all means to recovery, and based upon the fact that the medical profession is liable to tar you with a ‘sin’ that is false, you avoid going back to them for fear of a repeat event.

    It’s common knowledge that alcohol is an absolute no no when it comes to depression. It makes you more depressed. We have to accept this. Everybody says it. It must be true. But sadly, I’ve found myself so depressed and feeling suicidal, that I’ve had to resort to alcohol in order to incapacitate myself. Having learnt over the years not to make any important decisions whilst under the influence, I am ironically safer when I’m legless. I appreciate that ‘the day after’ may be a more depressive day than the previous, but when you’re in a desperate corner, desperate measures are called for.

    So my latest ‘tool’ has become SF. If I chain myself to the computer and read threads from way back along – I can’t do anything silly.

    Or have I missed something?
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Sf does help in that you care release all those thoughts that stay in your mind you feel less alone somewhat in that you are being heard and understood
    The only thing one can do when they are in a vicious cycle is to go out of ones comfort zone and try something different Do something for YOu something you used to enjoy do it until you enjoy it again Do something you have always wanted to do but never found time change something up ok meds hellp sometimes therapy helps but in the end it is US that have to change and doing something different can just be that catalyst to make things different
    uggggg i don't know if i even makes sense sorry
  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    double post
  4. Aquarius123

    Aquarius123 Well-Known Member

    Dear Bart - welcome in our midst. I do hope that you will make many new friends here and that we shall be able to help you - in some way or another - to find your way forwards in life again. It's never too late for a new beginning.

    With love - Aquarius

  5. CGMAngel

    CGMAngel Well-Known Member

    Bart - very eloquently written. Welcome to the forum!

    You talk a lot about the mental health system, but you don't mention anything about personal support. I was just wondering if you have any family and/or friends who are helping you at all.
  6. Bart

    Bart Banned Member

    That's a very good question.

    My parents died many years ago. My siblings are 'useless'. My wife would go into melt down if she knew how badly I felt, and of course I cannot discuss it with my children who are still young.

    Friends. I've moved home about 16 times in my life and therefore friends I've made in each of those places have fizzled out. These days I tend to have acquaintances rather then deep friends. I think that as men get older they tend not to form deep relationships outside their family, but that might just be me.

    There is still deep stigma attached to mental health issues here in the UK despite there being an attempt to de-stigmatise it. They are currently running tv and radio ads to try and alter the public's perception. It doesn't help that for instance, just this week there was a news story about a woman who smothered her three disabled babies before attempting suicide. She has been sentenced to a hospital 'until she gets better'. These sorts of stories don't help dispel the public's impression that all people with mental health issues are knife-wielding maniacs.

    So, all-in-all, it's something I have to suffer in silence with.
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    NO! Bart you do not have to suffer in silence. How can they tell you there's nothing more they can do? What they really should be saying is sorry I'm clueless find someone else. It annoys me that when I see a different psych and I seem like a difficult patient they will try and fob me off. They don't want difficult patients. They either want someone who they feel they can help or money. I am sorry this is happening to you. Luckily I can see a psych any week I want and I did get to try pretty much everything until I found what worked and I no longer suffer with depression. But do not get me wrong, it was a big struggle, arguing with them, being difficult (not on purpose), even had to threaten to take a solicitor to my next appointment one time ages ago. Do not give up so easily, don't let them ruin/rule your life. You are sick but you can get your life back, please tell the psych that there is plenty more s/he can try and if not to refer you to someone who can.

    SF is great for peer to peer support but try not to use it as a replacement for a psychiatrist. We want you to get better :hug:
    I agree about the stigma, I'm in Ireland and despite having a mental heath awareness week in my county, it has not reduced the stigma. The way I like to think of it is, remember the stigma regarding having a baby out of wedlock not so long ago. I believe that stigma surrounding mental health is now gone so hopefully in another few years it will be gone or at least reduced a lot 'cos right now the stigma is stopping a lot of people getting the help they need and make the mentally ill feel ashamed of themselves for being ill. As I always say ''I wouldn't be sorry for having a heart attack, just because you cannot see it doesn't mean it's not there, I won't be sorry for being mentally ill''.

    There are other medications you can try I'm sure if you discussed it at length with your doctor and therapy. Therapy gets to the root and medications to deal with the thoughts, they come hand in hand to me at least.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2014
  8. Bart

    Bart Banned Member


    Very interesting reply. Thanks. I know partly why I'm reluctant to go back and hammer on them till they do something. It's because they then keep notes that then get sent out to other 'agencies' who then start to make my life difficult. My wife is trying to see if we can get some sort of help that does not feed back to my GP and fuel the spiral down into difficulties that 'notes' create.
  9. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hey Bart,

    You are very welcome, getting some sort of assistance that does not go back to your GP seems like a good idea. Good luck and think everything through before deciding on anything :)
  10. Ally911

    Ally911 New Member

    Hi Bart, I totally agree at the stigma and lack of support from "professionals". I've had experiences ranging from psychiatrists asking me questions about how health insurance companies process claims (as I used to run operations for an insurance co), to talking about their computer systems, talking about their own stuff to two telling me they couldn't help me. The stigma is even there with my significant other. He doesn't want to hear I'm so depressed and absolutely refused to hear me talk about wanting to commit suicide. His latest, not spending as much time with me or doing as much as he used to for me. To be expected I guess. I've seen posts here where people seem to have found solutions or hope. I've felt majorly depressed and wanted to die since I was 8 years old. A hard battle with no family support at all. I've been on too many medications to count and hear what you're saying about trying different ones or combinations. The only one that seemed to really help me was Abilify, the only problem is after I got a free trial from my psychiatrist, I learned my monthly cost would be $892.!!!!!!! No way I can afford that on disability.

    I'm assuming by GP you might mean your general practitioner? Why would you be concerned if they knew? Here in the US all medical records are practically public. Even my optometrist knows what meds I've been prescribed. No confidentiality at all!! Hope you're feeling better.
  11. Donnanobispacem

    Donnanobispacem Well-Known Member

    I've lived in both countries and I think in the UK GPs take too much upon themselves, trying to treat and diagnose everything when a specialist is necessary. That said here in US I asked my GP about where to get counseling and she told me to go to church! Hardly very professional either...

    It definitely helps me to read all the posts here and know I'm not alone.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  12. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Quieta non movere

    It's messed up in a lot places in my opinion with mental health. Even regular healthcare systems are messed up. It's reassuring to know one is not alone knee deep in the BS.
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