The day is upon us, the appointment I have spent the last few weeks terrified of, happened today. But, I am feeling disappointed. And if anything, I feel worse now then I did before.
I guess I expected too much from this appointment. Being sent to a psychiatric hospital gave me some hope that I was finally going to be listened to. That someone was going to actually listen to my symptoms and perform a more in-depth analysis of my mental health. sadly I was wrong.
My appointment was at 1PM, the letter said that my first appointment could take an hour. I left my house at 11AM. I had to get two buses to get to the hospital, the second being a bus I have never got before so I was a little worried about it.
Anyway. Half way to the town centre I received a phone call. it was from a CPN to remind me of my appointment, she also asked where I live, I told her to which she asked If I wanted to meet her at my local doctors. I told her I was halfway to the hospital on the bus. She said she would meet me there. I could hardly hear her on the phone, which didn’t fill me with much hope.
When I finally got to the hospital and went through to the waiting room it was about 12:30. I fully expected to wait, but I didn’t. Out walked what looked like a 15-year-old psychiatric nurse who was going to “interview” me. She took me to a room where she proceeded to ask me “did you drive?” an hour ago I had told her I was on the bus on my way. Clearly she hadn’t listened to me. Which pissed me off.
In the room, it went the opposite to every scenario I had assumed. She asked how I was feeling, I read to her the list of symptoms a list which the third word was “self-harm” she wrote most things I said down, well I assumed she did. She wrote on what looked like a scrap of teenagers revision notes . writing things in different directions, in different hand-scrawled boxes on a small piece of paper.
I didn’t feel she was listening to me, or really taking me seriously. And after I finished talking I was absolutely speechless when she said “I think your problem is just anxiety based. I recommend CBT for anxiety.” I nearly fell off of my seat.
She called my possible manic episode a side effect of anxiety. Apparently sometimes people with anxiety can feel ok, and then they start to feel great for a little bit. I know the difference between having a good day and what I felt for that week. And let me tell you they were completely different.
I am so completely disappointed that she was trying to say my depression is a side effect of anxiety when I know that it is the other way around. This CBT won’t help. I don’t believe treating a side effect is going to help fix the cause. When clearly my problem is depression.
I feel so let down that I don’t really know what to say about the whole situation.
After telling me that my problem was purely anxiety based. She tried to get me to call the IAPT team. She wanted me to self-refer because it would make me seem “more interested.” Suddenly she asked if I self-harm. Of course, as I said earlier I ALREADY had said I self-harm. So she asked. “How do you self-harm?” I said “I cut my arm.” she asked if she could see. I undid the zip on my jacket and I was doing that she said “oh wait. is it on your chest?” I said no. showed her my arm and angrily through my pills and letter back in my bag. She said. “IAPT may not take you on because you self-harm.” I will call them for you.
Then I left. she rang me as I was getting on the bus but I was too disappointed to talk to her again. She left a barely audible message saying she had spoken to the IAPT team for me and they would contact me. But honestly I don’t care anymore. What’s the point? I’m not getting taken seriously. I don’t need CBT for anxiety. I need therapy for depression and a real psychiatrist to tell me what’s actually wrong.
I will end this on a final point of disappointment. I will say now, there is no history of abuse in my life, no specific bullying, nothing I can think of that really caused me to become depressed and anxious. But she told me that when I meet the IAPT team they won’t ask about my past. They will focus on fixing my CBT. In that case I assume they have no interest in discovering what is wrong with me. just trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
The Elephant In The Room