All good news here! Further to my notes about NHS treatment towards me… CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ARTICLE – opens in a new window
I saw my psychiatrist this week after a whole year waiting since they mucked up my appointments and failed to give me an appointment despite begging them (reception/appointments/secretary + more) for one last year.
”Oh I haven’t seen you for some time” he said, looking at his notes. “Why is that, did they not contact you to give you an appointment?”
I paused before saying “No, I haven’t, it’s been a year. I did come to an appointment last September and the locum wasn’t here to see me, so this was the next appointment they could offer”
I decided that diplomacy was required of me here, I had twenty minutes, and it would be best to get what I want rather than tell him of all my grievances and not get what I want.
“I’m sorry about that” he replied. Then he asked me how I am etc …
There was no point in telling him how I have been in the last year, which has been up and down, only how things are now, and they are a lot better so I told him how it is. I am over BPD and most OCD symptoms now and that depression comes and goes in varying degrees. I told him of my memoir (I did not tell him my ‘pseudonym’ though!) and how I now feel I am an ‘advocate for mental illness’. I also told him of the resentment and relationship issues still surrounding the sexual abuse I endured in 2005 and the bullying from my brother when young, both of which I haven’t dealt with mentally, perhaps partly because I omitted them from my memoir and partly because both people are not seemingly sorry either, despite both leaving me with physical and mental scars and ongoing ailments.
I also told him I was moving soon and breaking off from the dependency of Chris, who sat beside me during this appointment – the first time he had met my psychiatrist.
The best news was that he said I could stop taking ‘Quetiapine’ since I am on the lowest dose of 25mg, but that I can use it on and off to help me sleep whilst I go through the process. He also said I can reduce my Citalopram from 30mg to 20mg straight away and to gradually stop taking that as well, in my own time. Hooray – soon I will not be on any mental health meds at all! And hopefully, I will be less lethargic because of them! OK I know I am better, and if I had seen the psychiatrist earlier, I would be in this position earlier, but it is still a validating moment – it validates that I am recovered! And that feels good! I brought up the subject as I have been wanting to get off the meds for a long time now, and felt like I was ‘good’ enough to be without them, but didn’t want to just do it on my own and have problems, so I had waited a long time, still taking them, patiently…
So, my psychiatrist offered me sessions with an occupational therapist, to help me with coping skills, but I have coping skills and more. “No thank you” I said “It’s psychotherapy that I need”
He asked me if I had had psychotherapy before and I said yes, in 1999 or so and he said he will refer me. I will get a form to fill out and if they can help me they will.
So, I shall wait…
Now, although I have quite a bit to complain about, it is not the psychiatrist’s fault and the right channels need to be used. I understand that causing issues by complaint wouldn’t help me in the short term, so my message is, to anyone who needs to complain, make sure you wait, think and try to get what is best for you before closing doors – just my opinion, of course. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the gift of CBT with the NHS psychologist a couple of years ago – the skills she taught me gave me my life back eventually, and targeted my OCD traits and rituals, which were debilitating at the time. There are positives within the negatives I have endured during my battle with mental illness and the lack of care at times from the NHS. And if I am offered the psychotherapy to help me with my remaining issues, then I will have got what I need, and that is the main thing. I am quite aware of much worse treatment when it comes to mental healthcare.