Trying to get mental health support just makes a person lose everything.

I have an important piece of advice to those that feel that acting out will get them the help that they need after going the GP and asking services fail. Before things went wrong with my son I had been to see the GP about feeling Depressed. I was sent away with anti depressants. I was brushed off before I finally got overwhelmed and crumbled. I wasn’t given any form of support until after my son was adopted but this wasn’t mental health help. The services refused to help me so that they could have grounds for taking my son for adoption. At University I went to different parts of the campus services to try to get the help as well as my GP at the time. I was refused mental health help and what I did get traumatised me. Then the University kicked me out. I said those things to the tutor after that happened because I wanted the help. I had to say something that I knew they couldn’t ignore. Something that I knew would wind them up on a personal level. Instead of getting the mental health help I needed the Police got involved.

I’ve said things to Tutors and  various other Professionals around me to get mental health treatment but I get punished every time. I was in an ATU as a teenager. I am however traumatised by my experiences. I’ve lived with nightmares for many years thinking that they’d go away but they haven’t yet. I have PTSD like symptoms triggered by something as simple as a smell or a sound. The system has traumatised me. Although the system will never admit to being responsible for that trauma. I don’t think I’ll ever get the help. I’ve tried to take an overdose a few years ago. I have made myself get into trouble so many times because of being traumatised.  I can’t do anything else. It’s too late for me but I hope that the youngsters growing up with similar conditions don’t ever end up being left in the same position. I am too tired to even try anymore. 

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5 thoughts on “Trying to get mental health support just makes a person lose everything.

  1. Similar experiences: if nothing else I can at least empathise with and corroborate what you say. It’s the way of things. I’ve tried for years to get at least some basic form of treatment and been fobbed off for years. Mostly it’s foot-dragging but often it comes with accusations: some are banal, some are sly, some are nasty and some are damaging.

    The banal: “I would recommend help if you showed any commitment to getting better”, “you need to try harder” and so on. Quickly tired of this so I started to challenge it. Oh look, the accuser won’t stand by their words and blamed somebody else. I know the somebody else in question and know they never said that “so don’t try to bullshit me you little bollix”, as Bishop Brennan so eloquently put it. All to no avail. I moved on because life’s too short.

    Of course I didn’t move anywhere better. Next doctor was a master at both foot-dragging *and* the sly put down. Appointment after appointment was wasted promising to refer me for this that and the other which never transpired, until the end of his tenure where the judgemental attitude came out and I just got a box-ticking (or rather crossing) exercise of all the stuff he wouldn’t do. Later learnt that his assessments of me consisted of no more than “appears euthymic”, which is quack-speak for “looks okay to me”. The magic of x-ray vision where he can look straight into somebody’s mind without the need for medical investigation nor indeed competence.

    Further doctors employed both traits, and then there were those who added to it by actually being downright insulting. One looked so pleased with herself because she thought she’d managed to win some stupid intellectual debate: she hadn’t, but there’s no point arguing with idiots. By chance I bumped into a much more senior doctor on the research side: we talked about other stuff but she eventually asked how I was getting on with my treatment. I told her. The smug, “clever” doctor got a right bollocking and was much nicer after that. But still useless.

    But times change, patients cost money that would be better spent on managers and artwork for the managers’ offices, so my mental health gradually deteriorated as did my access to the services. Therapy had never been a thing but was now being explicitly refused. Inpatient care was inaccessible for even urgent cases (even GPs were expressing alarm about this) and outpatient care was going in the same direction. Even obvious stuff like my autism was going undiagnosed year after year, even after I’d started to raise it as a possibility.

    Cue the inevitable meltdowns that happen when a person is under severe enough stress with no help and no hope. I have to wonder if these are the things you describe: they were involuntary and once they happened, they *happened*. And they were going to happen until they stopped, and no force of will, certainly not my own, was going to make any difference.

    So experiences of being picked up by the police and all sorts of other shenanigans: fighting, injury, yelling, being cuffed, cataplectic fits, cells because “the hospital won’t have her”, when the hospital did have me they just sent me straight back home. Interestingly, apart from one example where a bad officer tried to make a false and very serious allegation against me, most of the police were actually awesome: they had no idea what was up with me because neither did I (I wasn’t diagnosed ASD at that point) but they treated me way more respectfully than the social workers and most hospital staff who I only saw long enough to tell me I was wasting their time and to discharge me again.

    Oh yeah, social workers. The one thing they did was to pin an EUPD diagnosis on me. Snap decision in spite of the ICD-10’s diagnostic manual being explicit that proper diligence must be done. It wasn’t. But what a surprise, then another social worker who was now acting as gatekeeper for mental health services said “she has EUPD. Not our problem.” And so did the next, overruling my GP and arbitrating (wrongly) on a senior consultant’s remarks.

    Where does that leave me now? Nowhere. Not unless I pay myself and even that doesn’t guarantee anything useful. Every treatment and diagnosis I have received in years has been done through my own volition, research, expense and effort. Fortunately I have a very helpful GP and know a good NHS consultant who takes private patients (otherwise I’d never get to see him, such is the impenetrable bureaucracy of mental health).

    So yeah. It’s shit and traumatic. This is my confirmation of what you said. Only, er, less concise.

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      1. Yeah, as is the case with most people which is why it’s so unforgivable. Although it’s under-funded there’s a massive problem with lack of oversight about how the money is spent. Well, you’ve said the same about your local social services who get a budget to help you and not a penny of it is spent on you but you still get all the disadvantages. Some of these people should be made to answer some difficult questions. While being boiled in marmalade.

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      2. And I’m sure they’ve been just as helpful as I expect. As a sardonic tone of voice doesn’t really carry well over text, obviously I expect they’ve been complete arseholes.

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