Disappointment

Dear Reader,

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.

As Always,

The Elephant In The Room

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22 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. I’m so sorry you weren’t listened to. I have no real advice or anything to offer, just solidarity. You are right to feel disappointed with the way you were treated, and I can totally understand your disappointment. Feel free to DM me on twitter if you ever need to chat (@athomeactivist) x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am with you in your disappointment in all of this. The “system”, no matter where you live is totally out of touch with reality. Which is quite ironic because that is a common misconception of mental illness! I don’t have any advice for you, but I am hurting for you and send you big hugs. I have been part of the mental health system for more years than I can remember and I don’t see it getting any better. What happened to you makes me very angry. Hugs, Lydia

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m so sorry your appointment was a disappointment, but don’t think this is just happening to you as I have been pissed more than once about seeing a psychiatric student, nurse, or whomever prior to the doc showing up, or the pdoc never even shows up. Sometimes I have waited 6 months to see a new psychiatrist, only to be met by his student, where the hospital has sent my file with 4 inches of my history, and this dude is asking now about my history. One time I just said “read the file”.

    I really believe that people are as depressed as they are, because possibly they’ve either never experienced themselves, never knew anyone who did or have been taught to take the next step before bothering an overloaded psychiatrist or psychologist.

    Anyways, I’ve even been asked about my suicide attempt. The moron scribbled and never looked up once! I wonder what he was writing down? Possibly, this woman is really off her rocker! Stay strong. Hugs

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  4. oops, kind of left a few words out there. What I was trying to say was, I really believe that some of these students/nurses/other clinical people are unaware of how depressed someone is. It’s difficult to explain suicidal feelings and depression, they should realize that from the questions and emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is disgraceful, to make a diagnoses in that way, and clearly she hadn’t listened at all, where do they find these people, this will now set you back, though I urge you to try again(I know)

    The fact that you mentioned self harm, twice and showed her your arm, should have set off alarm bells, but no she continues to ask inane questions which of course is going to make you “anxious” I’m so sorry this happened, it took a lot for you to even get and attend this appointment, now this.

    Please don’t give up hope because of one asshat, take some time and try again.

    Take care xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I went through much misunderstanding and even misdiagnosis from my teens until my mid-20’s. My late mother was constantly not being listened to. It is so important to have an advocate who takes you seriously and can speak on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself (and willfully give them permission). I think in the U.S.A. there is pressure with too little funding and overloading those who do work and care for the good of all mentally ill and/or developmentally disabled persons. May God bless and be with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very disappointing. However, you might still have options. Can you get a second opinion at all? If so, you might be able to get a different person.

    If not, you might be able to ask the reasons for the diagnosis on your next visit. Keep the notes that you had read off. For your next visit, try to make marks on your notes indicating that you had read specific items off. By keeping records of what you say, you can find out if they are listening to all of your symptoms. Furthermore, you can identify if they are ignoring things that absolutely do matter to your diagnosis.

    It is incredibly difficult to be assertive with medical staff. My own personal experience is to want to just shrug and let them do whatever to screaming at them, demanding if they’re stupid naturally or if they took lessons. Neither, sadly, is productive. The benefit of being calmly assertive, though, is that they will have to respond to you. Your health is more important than their comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t think CBT is a bad idea, I am doing DBT for a diagnosis of bipolar (mostly depression) and generalized anxiety disorder. She doesn’t sound like she knows what she is doing. I can understand maybe they have a nurse screen you but won’t you still see a Dr? That would be reasonable!!! Can you call back and ask for someone else? they are really trying you!

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  9. This was terrible service all around. There had been no understanding and no compassion. She was really bad at listening to you.
    The system can be very bad. It is hard to get the right person to listen and understand, and then they should communicate with you about what kind of treatment plan you feel would work.
    Sorry this happened. I hope you can get the help you need.
    Annie

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This experience sounds so upsetting! I’m really sorry Ele! You should have been given more compassionate, interested, professional care.
    I know how hopeful you were of this appointment and have sadly been in similar situations many times. Please try not to give up hope – there has to be someone out there who will be of help! This woman clearly was just not it.
    I also want to point out that asking to ‘see your self harm’ was (in my opinion) grossly inappropriate. No one should have to see the evidence of self harm to unless to physically treat it. This was an intrusion of your privacy and I find it terribly invasive! After such a disappointing appointment must have really pushed you over the edge and I would have been mortified!
    I’m so sorry for this experience. Go with your gut, if you feel she is wrong you should definitely seek a further opinion. It’s hard to persevere, but you deserve it!
    Take care of you! xxxx

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  11. I think you had a somewhat typical experience.
    Doing CBT WILL be helpful. When you mention “talking about the past” you are referring to another older type of Freudian therapy that is unnecessary.
    CBT will help you with your anxiety and depression. It helps you view situations in beneficial ways. Some sessions will be easier than others; don’t let the anxiety monster scare you away from getting help. I am proud of you for taking the first steps!!

    These links may be helpful:

    http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-for-depression

    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/therapy-for-anxiety-disorders.htm

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2094696-technique

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  12. I’m so disappointed for you. Therapy is only as good as the people administering it, and it looks like you have a heck of a battle ahead. I hope more than anything that the treatment you receive is better than this was.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t know where you live or how they do things there. I will tell you what my experience has been. I also don’t know what type of group your CBT would be. I was in the Intensive Outpatient Program here in Portland OR. We had a couple of groups a week that were CBT. I don’t know if maybe once you are in the CBT group, they might refer you to someone else? Maybe if you went through with doing the CBT, you could talk to that therapist leading the group, and see if she could refer you to someone? Maybe that would put your foot in the door? Now like I say, I don’t know how that group is set up, but maybe it could help you in some way, just to get to another therapist/psychiatrist. You are you own best advocate, and you are worth standing up for. Speak your voice, and keep searching until you find the right person. And until then, you have some awesome followers, and we are here for you!

    ~Devin

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It helps me a great deal to think of depression like this: It’s not about sadness, or bad things in my life. It’s a chemical imbalance in my brain. I cannot, by myself, fix the chemicals in my brain. I can, however, work with doctors/whatever, to find the appropriate pills to add to my body’s chemistry to balance out what’s gone wrong in my neurology.

    I’m just coming out of a major depressive episode. I wasn’t sad, or worried, or traumatized by my past. My brain was screwed up, and the new pills have helped level it back out. Thank God.

    So hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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