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?