Friday 3 June 2016

So, what now?

Since I moved house (end of last year!) I've been avoiding sorting out referrals; mainly mental health ones. There are various reasons for this, such as the exhaustion from the move,  and other things taking priority, but I've been avoiding delving into all my mental health problems.

I've made some progress on my own, but I keep going back to square one, and I need some proper support. As you may know I did have a psychiatrist, and was due to see her soon. Her secretary said she would call back to arrange a home visit so I could then be transferred to the mental health team in the area I live now. It all sounded very simple and at the time I felt relieved. After weeks of no reply from secretary or psychiatrist, I chased them up and they'd now decided that I would have to just go to my GP and get referred to the mental health team where I live now. There would be no appointment for a meds review or to transfer me.

I felt as if I'd been forgotten about. To be honest, I've felt like that a lot of times with mental health services. I'm sort of left to my own devices, with no continuous support (even though I have frequent suicidal thoughts and self harm regularly). I could've been a real risk to myself, and no one would've known.

Anyway, I have approached my GP about referral to my local mental health services. I told her that the whole thing had been really confusing and I didn't know if I'd be getting the therapy that had been suggested. Unfortunately the GP didn't know much about different therapies, so she upped my Sertraline dose; based on the fact that my Depression score was still high (21 I think?). It turns out that I can self refer to the primary mental healthcare team; who will then refer me to the appropriate service. I have a feeling they'll just try and get me to go through CBT all over again. If they do, I'm very tempted to tell them to forget it. That may be the depression talking, but I'm so fed up of getting so far, being built up with promises of various services, and then it all being taken away.

I may have mentioned this before, but I've been really confused about what my actual "official" diagnoses are. My GP showed me a letter from my medical notes (possibly the psychiatrist one?) and I noticed it said Moderate Depression, Anxiety, & Agoraphobia. The contents of the letter mentioned "symptoms of OCD" too. I didn't get chance to see more of the letter than that, but it kind of annoyed me that I'd been told one thing (i.e. the psych agreeing that I do have OCD) and another thing had been written down. It makes me wonder if other things I've been told, haven't made their way into my notes either? For example, the two therapies that were suggested to me (EMDR, & Psychodynamic therapy). I really want to get a copy of my medical records, but keep forgetting to ask. I just want things cleared up! I feel as if I'm being kept out of the loop so to speak. It reminds me of the time I'd been under the impression I had an M.E. diagnosis, but my notes said "Anxiety Disorder".

Back to the point; self referral. I have to ring up to self refer, so it's going to take more time for me to build up the courage for that. It's taken long enough for me to be completely honest and open with mental health staff, so it feels as if I'm back to square one!

Have you found yourself very lost with mental health services, and whether things suggested to you (diagnoses, therapies etc) were actually written down in your medical notes? I'd be very interested to hear how similar my experience is to others'.

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