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UK Mental Health Care in Crisis

June 30, 2017

 

I am becoming increasingly angry and disappointed, at the lack of real support for those suffering with their Mental Health. People are let down left, right and centre, whilst the lucky few get the attention they need. This pattern of disrespect and neglect is becoming more and more apparent, with suicide rates at a catastrophic number and the suffering of mental health now 1 in 4.

 

I felt it important to give a voice to those who have been let down, and expose the mental health services as they truly are; stressful, upsetting and incredibly lacking. 

 

Trigger Warning:

 

Stories include mentions of self-harm, suicide, rape and multiple mental illnesses & disorders, and could be triggering. I have labelled each story with their individual triggers, please take care if you feel you could be affected.

 

My Story

 

 

 

Throughout my entire experience with the mental health care system, I have been disappointed. I have been taking Anti-Depressants for 4-5 years for Depression and have taken 10mg & 20mg Citalopram, 20mg Fluoxetine, back to 20mg Citalopram (?!) and 50mg to 100mg Sertraline which was given to help treat my Anxiety as well as Depression. I feel as though the anti-depressants are just the go to 'resolve'. Yet, I've only very recently felt any positive affect from them.

 

I was referred to a Psychiatrist in Jan '17 as I expressed my concerns to my GP, who said it was best I was assessed for Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, when I saw the Pysch' it was in a public building and there wasn't a waiting room (it was just one big room), so my Mum ended up sitting in with me. He asked me a bunch of questions about my childhood and not a lot about the way I was feeling at the time, and deemed I suffered with Generalised Anxiety - like I didn't know that? It was such a pointless, anxiety filled trip. I was discharged, told to refer myself to counselling and given a handout with 'resources', some of which don't exist any more.

 

As for therapy, I have been on a waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for over 2 months now. I have had CBT twice already and explained when I was assessed that I felt like it wasn't helpful for me, and yet they felt it apt to 'try once more'. There is now only one NHS counselling service in my area, after the only other one has been discontinued. I have had no contact from the counselling service since being put on the waiting list on 26th April '17.

 

I am struggling immensely with handling my emotions and am often full of anxiety, and get overwhelmed very easily. I know there's something 'more' wrong with me but I'm just afraid of being shot down again. I am now attempting to return to work with no support, apart from a single pill that I take each morning.

Here are your stories...

Jaz's Story
 

Jaz has had a concerning time with her 12 year old sister and the CAMHS system.

 

8 months ago we went to the doctor as she was experiencing very bad Anxiety and negative thoughts. The GP decided to refer her to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and an appointment came through for April, but on the morning they phoned to cancel it as staff shortages (my sister had worked herself up into a horrendous state).

 

We are still waiting for an appointment and been told it could be 5 months unless we wanted to travel 30 miles (we live near a city so it's not like we are in a rural area). They just don't care that meanwhile my sister gets worse and can't cope with school. In turn causing me a nightmare.

 

Alexandra's Story

 

Trigger Warning: self-harm, suicide attempt

 

 

I dissociated after having my boy 5 yrs ago due to undiagnosed PTSD ended up having 2 mental breakdowns. It took months of prescriptions not working before ending up with the crisis team 3 times. I was admitted to psych' ward for nearly a month when my baby was 10 months and my daughter, 3. I had no therapy whilst in there. We wandered the corridors and smoked cigarettes. One staff member invented a staff/patient meeting 'cos he didn't have time. If we were struggling our first offer was Diazepam. I was in gradual leave when they told me not to come back as they needed the bed.

 

It took 2 years and a subsequent breakdown and suicide attempts before I had therapy. My husband had to campaign with our local MP to get help. The community mental health team said they'd discussed how to manage illness with me and I only realised later that they had meant the 20 page hand outs they'd left for me to read (whilst having a breakdown and self harming and others were looking after my children). The workers left for weeks at a time. I rang in crisis and they told me to go to my GP and had to refer me but he was on holiday. Every number I rang they told me to speak to somebody else.

 

I'm still in recovery 5 yrs later diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety and severe Depression - plus Fibromyalgia.

 

The therapy stopped after 9 months because I'd had my quota, as it were. Now I just try to survive. Nobody helped us. Nobody helped my husband when he was trying to look after our children and work whilst I was trying to die or hurt myself. There was no one. It took complaints to authorities through MPs to get me seen. Now we're trying to find money for private therapy because I'm not coping. The system is broken, totally broken. When I overdosed and went into hospital they discharged me as my husband left for the car. They sent me walking through hospital dazed, upset and on my own with a carrier bag full of my meds, including the ones that had put me in there.

 

Only one community nurse has helped me, in 5 years.

 

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Angela's Story
 

Angela is currently in the process of creating a website (www.bpdscotland.com) and eventually wants it to become a charity where appropriate support and treatment can be provided.

Trigger warning: self-harm, suicidal thoughts

 

 

I have tried to access Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) through the NHS but it is not something they choose to fund. Agreed, it is a long commitment of therapy up to a year intensive, but the other side of the coin is becoming a life long service user battling a chaotic lifestyle, self harm and 'suicidality' while being treated like the parasite of the NHS.

 

I feel that I consume so many ad-hock services, that do not actually help me manage my condition. It is pointless, but I must attend or be seen as resistant to services and support will be withdrawn.

 

Statistics prove the effectiveness of DBT enable people to live a life worth living, with recovery and being symptom free . (But still obviously borderline) conversely other treatments offered like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psychology do not do well at all in comparison. Statistics show that chances of recovery are very small without the intensive input that DBT gives. There are a couple of private practitioners who profess to offer DBT but they are working independent and have no support team, and not offering the fundamentals that DBT was created with. So not actual DBT.

 

I, last week, got in contact with the Priory in Glasgow, to discuss private provision. Alas there is nothing available in Scotland - there is only one facility in London that offers it.

 

This leaves me as a sufferer, as an unwelcome burden on the NHS, where mental health treatment of BPD is not treated seriously and leaves me very hopeLESS about my future recovery goals.

 

NB. There is no medication to treat BPD, only help to manage some of the symptoms.

 

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Polly's Story

 

Trigger Warning: suicide attempt

 

I was let down by the Crisis Team and my local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) in Horsham, West Sussex, in 2014. I had been let down by the CMHT and NHS in a less damaging way a few years previously - in 2011 I had a breakdown due to depression and had a bad A&E experience and subsequent care - but 2014 was horrendous. I never had a treatment plan and was only given a 'care coordinator' who was rude and completely trivialised my depression.

 

I had a string of Psychiatrists, one of whom labelled me with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) purely based on me using descriptive terms like 'numb' to describe my situation and my second breakdown in 2014 (I've had ongoing Clinical Depression since 2007). I was given a six month waiting list for BPD therapy, despite telling them I knew I didn't have it, as I'd researched the criteria in the DSMIV manual that clinicians use. I was told I was "in denial". I was also left for three weeks without any psychiatric intervention or care coordinator following a suicide attempt that year.

 

The CMHT refused to treat me in the interim and yet again I had to go to A&E. I later had a BPD assessment and the psychologist could tell within the first three questions of the assessment that I didn't have BPD - six months of waiting for treatment I knew I didn't need. I had to get private therapy and psychiatry in the meantime to cover the gap in care. I later spoke to the BBC about the gap in treatment, as a Mind media volunteer.

 

I'm currently still in recovery and unable to work properly, and I'm convinced I would have recovered quicker (and probably not had that last suicide attempt) had I not been given such poor care. This isn't the whole story, but the bare bones of it.

 

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Anonymous


Trigger Warning: suicidal thoughts


When I was around 17, I went to the GP and explained how I was feeling and was sent to be tested for Bipolar Disorder. At such a young age I was understandably scared. I got tested and told I was in fact Bipolar. Having been so scared I didn't return for a year or so, then I was diagnosed with having Major Depression & Anxiety.

At each appointment I was seen by a different Doctor, given several different anti-depressants and felt as if no one was listening to what I was saying or feeling and just wanted to had me a new medication. My appointments were rushed, some took weeks even when I was feeling suicidal, not eating or sleeping or being able to go to work I still had to wait sometimes up to two weeks for an appointment.

 

I'm now on new medication again and having therapy. But every time I ask about my previous history I'm told not to worry about it. There is no continuity or urgency with mental health in Cornwall which leaves most people feeling let down and helpless constantly. I got sick of having to explain myself constantly and brief each new doctor about my history. The mental health care here is just so utterly appalling.

 

Becca Leah's Story

 

Trigger Warning: suicidal thoughts 

 

 

I went through a horrendous period between 2014-2015 where I was on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown and seriously contemplating suicide. I was back and forth at A&E for several weeks practically begging for help. It became clear to me that the nurses and even the mental health staff had no idea how to deal with a hysterical woman with pretty severe psychological problems even though that is what they are trained to do. Let's not even go into how long I was forced to wait for anyone to see me, but I think you can imagine. If I had a broken leg, the wait would have still been lengthy, but all of those with physical injuries were being treated even if they'd come in AFTER me. Absolutely an indication of how stretched the mental health services are within the NHS.

 

This isn't an excuse for the way I have been treated by so many of the so-called "professionals" though; on one occasion a mental health nurse (let's call her Martha) looked me in the eye, confusion on her face, and asked me what I wanted her to do about the situation I was presently in. No worries Martha; I've just told you how desperate and hopeless I'm feeling but I understand that there isn't really anything you can do for me today, even though it's your JOB.

 

They did refer me to the crisis team but they were about as useful as a chocolate fire guard; the first time I went to see them at the hospital and the women I saw were nothing short of callous and patronising. I cried for the entirety of the appointment and told them I couldn't cope with the thought of going back to work, that I couldn't cope with life, and could they please help me get through telling my workplace that I didn't want to go - all they kept saying was that I was a grown woman and had to get a grip, basically. Erm, HELLO! I can barely get out of bed, and they're telling me to just "get over it".

 

They thought buying me a coffee would soften the blow of their judgmental attitudes, but when one of them had rooted in her purse for thirty seconds and realised she didn't have enough cash on her, they changed their minds and just left me sat in the hospital cafè admiring the very busy main road running alongside the hospital. I could have quite easily killed myself that day, but they seemed completely unconcerned or ignorant of the impact of their words and actions. If I wasn't even worth a cup of coffee to a professional person, I was obviously just a speck of dirt in the eyes of the general population who had no mental health training. What was the point in continuing on?

 

Another plea for help at the A&E department resorted in me being told that I needed to see myself as a "project" and work on my own shortcomings. To this day I have absolutely no fucking idea what this woman was prattling on about. The "regular" nurses (you know, that caring profession we've all heard about) triaging A&E began to look at me as though I was a problem patient and I even caught one rolling her eyes at me. I was treated like a five year old having a tantrum, basically. No dignity whatsoever. Every time I went I left feeling even more bereft than I did when I walked in; but in my naivety I continued to go hoping that this would be the time somebody would care enough to help me. It was only the last visit I took there and threatened to throw myself into the path of the double decker bus that they "considered" admitting me to a psychiatric hospital.

 

When I walked outside again, it was only the sound of my Dad's voice over the phone that drove those suicidal thoughts away. I'm his only child and I couldn't bring myself to do that to him. It was at this point that I was referred to a psychiatrist and it's led up to me being assessed for Asperger's syndrome, which could very well be the reason behind why I struggled to get by and why I became so terribly depressed. I'm just sorry that my experiences of trying to get here, both with the emergency department and mental health services, has been so difficult and I know that this is a common occurrence throughout the country and it desperately needs to improve.

 

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Richard's Story

 

 

 

 

I have had Anxiety & Depression for a little over 13 years. For the first two years the GP was great, then it got to the point where i think they just didn't care any more! Over the last two/three years I have lost count of the amount of times i have broken down in my GP surgery, begging for help before i hurt myself or someone else, but all they say is, 'lets try a different medication.'

 

I have begged for counselling and all they keep saying is that they will refer me to "Healthy Minds". Months and months of waiting and I finally get a telephone call where they ask what is going on, I then get a letter to say they 'cant help me'. I go back to my GP and they say, 'all we can do is refer you to "Healthy Minds".' Pure joke.

 

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Kayleigh's Story

Trigger Warning: self-harm, suicidal thoughts

 

 

I've suffered from mental health issues most of my life. I saw a child psychiatrist between the ages of 13-16 because of a traumatic experience, and I was told one time I simply had "teenage angst"!

 

I first got diagnosed with Depression when I was 18, and my usual doctor at the time was amazing, but I remember one time I had to go and see somebody else as I couldn't get in with him, and this particular Doctor told me I needed to get a hobby such as reading, even though I told her I'd been feeling suicidal and had been self harming.

 

Over the years I've been treated solely for Depression and Anxiety, but there's always been something more y'know, like I get really high moods, sometimes get psychosis. One counsellor told me "don't go down the route of getting a diagnosis of something other than depression as it'll do you no good" which baffled me, because surely a correct diagnosis would help?!

 

Anyway, after years of being treated for depression, I got a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, which has helped me understand a lot, like why I think and behave in certain ways. But the care for that has been shoddy.

 

I've had this diagnosis for 4 years now. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is well known as being the best treatment for BPD, and yet only this year have I been offered it, and I'm still on a waiting list. Prior to that, I was offered psychotherapy after a 2 year wait, but only in group format. I gave it ago but I have terrible social anxiety, and really struggled. And so, I was discharged from the psychiatrist for "not cooperating" even though I was having panic attacks about sessions and feeling and being physically sick.

 

I was assigned a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN), which again was a 2 year wait, and when I told her about my struggles with group therapy, she told me the psychiatrist knows best. I told her "with all due respect, they may have experience and degrees, but I'm the one living with the condition, knowing how it affects me on a daily basis."

 

That CPN was awful. She insulted my weight one time. I have binge eating disorder too, and I was describing how I struggle, she asked about my weight and I said I didn't know, but I was a size 16. She said, and I quote, "you don't look like you're a size 16, is it because your top is loose fitting?" This same CPN also failed to provide my details with the mental health team when I moved from Carlisle to the Wirral. I chased her up after a month and she said I hadn't given her my new details. I screenshot her the proof that I had, and that also my new GP had wrote to her. She said her phone had broken.

 

Things are a bit better now I've moved, although I'm still on a waiting list for DBT, but the psychiatrist I see every 6 months listened to all my symptoms and let me try two different mood stabilisers as opposed to just antidepressants on their own, which was reassuring that I was actually being listened to!

 

Connect with Kayleigh - Twitter | Blog

 

Anonymous

 

Trigger Warning: suicide attempt

 

I'd say that although I wasn't exactly failed, it took an attempt on my own life before I was taken seriously, seen by professionals and got the help I have now. But, even now I don't have as much contact and support with them as I wish I did have. It's been a rocky road to be honest.

 

What I'm seeing though is there just isn't enough people working in the mental health sector to help. I know that North Cornwall are understaffed massively.

 

Kate Alice's Story

 

Trigger Warning: self-harm, suicide attempts, ectopic pregnancy, rape

 

 

My problems became relevant when I was 14, my Dad passed away and I was being bullied badly, my boyfriend at the time cheated on me so I got seriously depressed. I began cutting as an escape I guess, until I went to my GP. She looked at my cuts and said that 'they were fine, nothing to worry about' sort of thing and sent me out with a list compiled with 'eat well, exercise' sorta' thing.

 

I left feeling that my cuts weren't deep enough and that I was feeling this way for no reason. The cutting got drastically worse until I was taken to hospital by ambulance, when there I was basically told to wait. So my 15/16 year old self sat alone in an A&E waiting room for legit 6 hours with nothing but tissue to cover my cuts. It was humiliating and I was so scared. I got told that I had to wait till 11pm to be seen by a MH professional but when he came, he said that I just needed to focus breathing, things like that..

 

Fast forward, I get into uni and 'cause I was alone I developed Bulimia and would cut deep up to 4 times everyday.. I came back home and my mum made me see a doctor but after seeing all my scars, asked me to fill in a questionnaire.. once again I was so embarrassed and felt no one understood me and that I was just going insane. He went to send me away after recommending I see another councillor, and I was like right so what do I do to stop feel suicidal?! I openly told him I wanted to kill myself.. he just said that he could prescribe me a low dose of antidepressants but they wouldn't work "on a girl like me"... his honest words..

 

I had attempted suicide again that night. After I had an ectopic pregnancy and was raped late last year, I attempted suicide again and was told I was hours away from death if my sister hadn't have come to see me when she did.. from then I FINALLY got help.

 

They gradually put me up to the highest dose of anti-depressants and contemplated Quetiapine (antipsychotics) for me, and diagnosed me with: Borderline Personality Disorder, severe DepressionAnxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Other Wise Specified).. I then was able to start a new trial of therapy but that was after 8 years of hell.

 

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Kat's Story

 

Last year I was discharged from community eating disorder services. This was despite it being 3 days before a family funeral and despite me, my family, partner and GP begging them not to discharge me.

 

I was severely underweight to the point of emaciation. One of the last things I was told by a clinician was "we expect you to get worse and lose weight but it's ok because you can always be re-referred" . I was so distressed that for a long time I refused to go back despite being desperately unwell still. Finally I relented and accepted being re-referred. I'm now stuck on a waiting list again and my weight and health are even worse.

 

Katie Lou's Story

 

 

 

 

In November of 2016 I was signed off work by my GP, as I broke down in the Dr’s office he labelled my sick note with “Stress”.  I went back 2 weeks later not feeling any improvement and before I could even open my mouth to speak the tears started streaming again.

 

Back then I was still too afraid to open up about the mess inside my head, I genuinely feared I would be sectioned.  So whilst trying not to say too much, I mentioned the very raw pain my parents’ divorce from some 16 years ago still left me with, the anxious feelings I suffer and I even muttered that I know I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

 

As I sat there broken, crying for help, he referred me to counselling, provided me with a further sick note and sent me on my way.  I was in a dark place, I had just tried to tell someone for the very first time in my life what I was going through which took a huge amount of courage, and as a professional surely he should have recognised this and provided me with some interim support.

 

Instead it felt as though the sick note was prescribed as some sort of treatment, a bit of time off to sort yourself out.  Only, I couldn’t sort myself out, I needed help and it didn’t feel like I was getting any.  I returned again and this time I was prescribed antidepressants and advised that there could be a long wait for counselling.  I tried the antidepressants hoping that these would be my saviour, however no matter how much I wanted them to work I couldn't handle the side effects and I had to give them up.

 

It was only because my employer offered to pay for me to have some private counselling sessions that I started to make my way out of the darkness, not because of the sick note or antidepressants.  But not a lot of people have such supportive employers or access to private counselling, and it wasn't until June 2017, 7 months since my GP referral, when I finally received an appointment from my local counselling service!

 

This saddens me because I can't help but wonder what the last 7 months of my life would have looked like if it hadn't have been for my employer coming to my rescue, because the mental health system certainly didn't.

 

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Anonymous


I've had 3 admissions for Anorexia, within a 2 year period. During my second admission, I wasn't given therapy, as they didn't really think I had an Eating Disorder (ED), and refused to listen when I said I needed more support and wasn't coping. Once I barely ate on leave, was asked why I told my nurse that I hadn't.

 

Following that I gradually got more ill, to the point my GP I went home on Fridays worrying I wouldn't be alive on the Monday. I was eventually admitted to an out of area bed 100 miles from home. I was there 5 months, yet someone else had been there 5 years. I was voluntary at that ward, but sectioning was used as a punitive threat. Although I am much better with my ED, my Anxiety is worse and my GP thinks I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result.

 

I was discharged from my Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) less than 2 months later due to the lack of resources. The local ed beds had closed down.

Before my first admission, I was told I was being referred urgently to ED services, it took 2 months before they realised the referral hadn't been made, and when I eventually complained, I was fobbed off.

 

Leah's Story


Trigger Warning: self-harm, suicidal thoughts
 

 

I’m not entirely sure of where to begin. I started struggling with my mental health when I was about 11 and got referred to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) finally, at about 13/14. I’d already seen my school on site counsellor but she was more of a distraction from the stress of lessons more than anything and was honestly useless.

 

Straightaway with CAMHS I had many problems as each time I went I had a new therapist/counsellor and would have to repeat everything from the previous sessions. I literally spelt out to them what was wrong. I was so desperate to get help. I would say “I get bullied which has caused me to struggle with Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harm, suicidal thoughts and eating,” and somehow they’d have a whole other idea of what was wrong with me. I stopped going because I was sick to death of not getting anywhere and having to talk through the same stuff over and over. Plus my anxiety and depression were getting worse and worse, so I would often cancel at the last minute anyway.

 

I got put on a trial with a new form a therapy, directed at suicidal thoughts and self harm with a lovely man called Mike. It was family therapy so when my Mum was in the room I wouldn’t open up but when it was one on one, he’d manage to get bits out of me, but I’d often change the subject. He would talk to me about the subject I changed it to and then continue to talk to me about the issues at hand. These sessions with Mike suddenly ended out of nowhere and I was honestly so upset because I felt like I was getting somewhere, slowly but surely. (I found out a few months ago that Mike actually passed away suddenly but my Mum knew it would upset me and didn’t want to tell me.)

 

Later on in the year, I got referred to deaf CAMHS. They’re a mental health team who council people with coming to terms with their hearing losses and things, never once did I mention I had a problem with my hearing loss. They would come to my house which was helpful because I had extreme anxiety that left me housebound by this point but other than that and the fact they were really nice people, they were honestly useless. Every single thing I opened up about they met with the same response and somehow made it about my hearing loss. Their conclusion was that I was depressed and anxious because of my hearing loss. I was absolutely furious. I’ve had hearing loss my entire life so I don’t know any different, so why on earth would it be an issue? Especially considering no one could tell and I was never singled out or anything.

 

They eventually discharged me and I became completely housebound. I didn’t leave the house for nearly 5 years.

 

During these years my Mum tried relentlessly to get CAMHS to help as did a social worker named Sue, who was amazing. CAMHS, however, had other ideas of course. The head worker at CAMHS would ignore us etc. and eventually scheduled the girl who didn’t leave the house with a hospital appointment. My Mum had literally spelt it out to her so many times it took about a year and half for her to finally schedule a home appointment and by this point, I told her to f*** off.

 

At 15 ish, I was put on anxiety medication and literally forced to leave my house with the help of family and Sue. I started college at 16 for a whole month but Sue retired and I stopped leaving again. However, I was forced to leave one day at 16 as we were moving house and I can honestly say it was one of the worst days ever, in terms of my anxiety but also a massive turning point.

 

I started going out again little by little and at 17, enrolled into another college. I started in May and then dropped out in the August as my anxiety got worse and worse. I did meet my current boyfriend there tho' and we started dating in July of that same year. I was on and off medication for my anxiety and my depression. My boyfriend was incredible with helping me leave the house and then in November I found out I was pregnant and more mental health problems started. I got diagnosed with prenatal depression but honestly, the maternal mental health team were so amazing and supportive.

 

After my daughter was born I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and when she was 5 months old, I had a psychotic breakdown. I ended up 30 miles from home with no recollection of how I’d gotten there. I was sectioned under the mental health act and kept on two different mental health wards for two weeks. I can’t even recall the amount of people I saw during this time period, it was honestly crazy.

 

About a month later, I went to a follow up appointment where I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD/BPD) and discharged for being too complex. I was also discharged from a home mental health team that I saw about 3 times. I’m on two 12 month waiting lists for therapy which in 12 months I probably wont even want to go to.

 

I’m under another hospital as an outpatient for maternal mental health which stops when my daughter turns one (which is August) and then I’ll be receiving no form of therapy, which right now I feel like I kinda need even though I’m coping more at the moment. I’m testing even more anxiety and depression medication at the moment which I hate because theres no guarantee it will work. Luckily though, I’ve kicked postnatal depression's butt and have the most incredible bond with my little lady now. I think having a baby saved me because I don’t want her to be indoors all the time, so I force myself to face anxiety and take her out. If I’m low, it doesn’t matter because my daughter needs me to look after her. I have bad days, good days and really really dark days but I’m very proud of where I am currently.

 

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James's Story

 

 

 

I feel I have been failed quite consistently regarding my mental health by the health services. The most harrowing experience for me was being at lowest, in huge distress and on the edge in A&E and simply being sent away with just a leaflet and no way of getting home. In general, I've felt the waiting lists grow longer and when I was attempting to get diagnosed for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) I was subjected to politics and finance as I had to have my case placed in front of a panel to decide if I was worth the funding.

 

I have also been consistently asked if I would like to pursue certain diagnostic processes and treatments. Another infuriating situation for me is being asked to make decisions on my own care such as 'What medication would you prefer?' or 'What would help you?' my argument against that is in those situations I'm often not is a position to make a decision because I'm distressed and I haven't spent 7+ years at medical school nor am I paid.

 

Overall I have spent a huge amount of time chasing, complaining and pushing for the right care and support, it often feels like a full time job and I feel that if I go off the radar, nobody chases you. I recognise the pressure that the NHS is under the the UK and I have huge admiration and respect for the service and the problems are often rooted in underfunding of the NHS and Mental Health in particular.

 

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Anonymous

 


I am constantly failed by the system along with my whole family. My dad is terminally ill and without sounding sorry for myself, the past 5 years have been a series of unfortunate events and not just little ones.

 

My mum, sister and I struggle everyday. The government have neglected us at every hurdle. I first went to seek medical help in 2015 not long after his diagnosis. At first they offered me a free counselling service I was apprehensive but I wanted to see if this could really be a weapon to at least wanting to get out of bed in the morning. The lady who saw me at the 6 sessions was lovely but I felt so embarrassed and couldn't let my walls down to a stranger I almost sugar coated things. I did however breakdown in one session but about a breakup and then it clicked I wasn't just down about my dad, it was myself. I hated myself and felt worthless.

 

The sessions ended and I felt lost, I had no direction other than a massive black cloud of old and new problems looming. I have visited the doctors so, so many times since 2015 and only ever been suggested to read a book. Once I was even laughed out of a doctors surgery in tears.

 

All of this has made me feel pathetic and like i'm making it up. I haven't been to the doctors in ages because it makes me feels worse. I also suffer from ME and under active thyroid, which cause me to be exhausted amongst the obvious mental health. I was late for college everyday and they really hated me, I had no choice but to pay for a doctor's note so I didn't get kicked out. The college secretary even joked about getting an alarm clock?!?

 

I wish that some form of authority would take me seriously because I know myself and I am not these feelings that take over me, I used to be a bubbly, calm, happy girl. I just want the help I deserve as a young person with high aspirations, but they have suppressed me to feel like a worthless, pointless spec in society that needs to just get over it. 

 

Becca's Story

 

Trigger warning: self harm

 

 

 

 

 

I've been battling depression and disordered eating for 3ish years. I went back to my GP who'd told me My depression was a teenage phase (I'm 18) and said look, you said come back if it got worse well; I've been self harming, I've not gone to school in weeks, I don't eat, I don't sleep, I haven't even showered for over 2 weeks because I can't AND I tried to take my own life last month. His response: "well you didn't succeed so it can't be as bad as you're making It out to be," I asked to at least be put on the waiting list for Adults in Scotland and he simply said "there's people in far worse situations than you are. Don't take up a valuable place".

 

I returned a month ago because things were getting REALLY bad again and I was actually turned away. So despite being actively suicidal and unable to function - I am left with no support, because the system deemed me as "not sick enough".

 

Connect with Becca - Twitter | Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you made it this far, well done.

 

I felt I had to put in as many stories as I possibly could, to represent just how common these occurrences are. Whilst realistically, there is nothing substantial that we can do individually to stop this happening, I ask that you share this post and educate others. Awareness is very important and I believe we can make an impact in this way. 

 

 

Thank you very much for reading! 

 

 

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