Into the system…

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NHS Psychiatrist…

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Bloody hell, the CMHT is in a weird and slightly scary location. The building is a dilapidated old school on a council estate, with rusty railings and dodgy damp portacabins. It was in one of these cabins that I had my appointment. My social worker met me and took me in. The ceiling was falling down from damp. It really shows how much priority mental health care gets within our social services and NHS. Most of the other council buildings are shiny and swish.

It turns out that the NHS psychiatrist I saw today has seen me before, although I wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t have told me. Dr D assessed me in February after my massive overdose and arranged for my admission to the NHS ward back in February. I don’t remember the assessment at all, but vaguely remember his face.

The appointment was fairly routine. He asked me about discharge from the ward, what happened at The Priory, what has happened since. He asked about current mood. He asked about history, self harm, suicide, family history, childhood, education etc. All the usual things. It was a chore going over it all again. The more often I do this history thing, the less I manage to cover and recall. I just skip over things because I have said them so many times I forget what I’ve told who. I think he got the main points though.

He didn’t change my medication at all, as my social worker had warned me. He seemed to think that my current meds were doing some good and that we should persevere. I didn’t know if to ask about Dr G’s planned increases up to 300mg. I think I should have, but I couldn’t find my tongue. He said my meds would be reviewed when I next return to the CMHT.

One positive outcome was a referral to therapy. My social worker needs to get this done, so I’m not holding my breath considering her previous record, but we shall see. He said the waiting list is extremely long, but the sooner the referral is done the better. As I have covered most of the shorter therapies at The Priory, especially CBT, he said they probably won’t bother with these, but he was keen for me to have psychodynamic therapy. He thinks I will need to be in intense psychodynamic therapy for years. I had expected to do some psychodynamic stuff as Dr G had mentioned it in the past, but I thought it would be for a few months. I didn’t think I would need years. I guess I never really saw the whole psychoanalytical, lie on a couch and talk about your childhood thing as for me.

I wonder what issues he thinks I will need so long to deal with. I started on some psychodynamic stuff at The Priory when I did “Life Maps” and I grappled around for some reasons for all of this, but my childhood was uneventful and I don’t know what problems there are to find. I know there are some relationship issues with my mother and I was bullied in primary school, but aside from that I am unsure. I don’t think these are deep enough and I see my condition as largely chemical.

The plan is for me to continue on these meds, wait for a referral to therapy and see him (or someone else on the team) again in around 8 weeks. This wait is better than I’d feared but it still seems a long way away. I find the future so hard to comprehend I don’t know how I will get through to then. I was told to continue to see my social worker and to use the ALERT service, the CMHT in hours, the crisis team or A&E if things get worse, but I don’t know how easy that will be. I tend to suffer in silence and hide how bad things are getting, even now after everything.

I’m glad the appointment is over. I was so nervous and didn’t really know what to expect. The next step is to contact Dr G and tell her what happened. I think she will be glad about the therapy as she had wanted to find me something before. I am scared about letting go of her support, but know I will have to eventually. Dr D seemed a little concerned that I had still been seeing a different psychiatrist and I think he wanted that to stop. I understand it would be complicated. I guess I’ve always got the option of going back to Dr G if I felt I needed it. Dr D asked me to contact Dr G and get her to send a summary of my care at The Priory and a date for which I will be discharged by her as well as a list of the therapy I’ve had at The Priory. It all seems quite final.

p.s. I updated the My Story page today.

5 Responses

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  1. Sounds about right, in terms of what happened and the condition of the building; mine’s not too dissimilar! I know it seems like ages away, I go through that too… I just have to keep fighting. Hopefully you’ll see the social worker more often than that though. x


    Tuesday, 22nd September 2009 at 1:42 pm

    • Kate – I do see the social worker more – every 2 weeks or so, but I am not sure of her usefulness. I guess if things get back she can report back though. I suppose we both have to keep fighting. xx


      Thursday, 24th September 2009 at 10:22 pm

  2. So the NHS appointment has been and gone… it doesn’t sound like it was too bad and a wait of 8 weeks is quite good. You sound a little like me in terms of having the services to use, the crisis teams etc but not actually going to use them… it’s often so difficult to make the call!

    As for leaving Dr G she’s played a big part in your life for a long time, it will be difficult to leave her as you become attached I guess in the same way I became attached to the staff in group therapy, even now I have problems (and what you mentioned on a post of mine the other week of my Psychology teacher having the same name as the Psychologist in the group is already posing some problems for me and it’s only week 2!)

    I am glad you are getting the referral to therapy… they do say it can take years but for some it can be quicker. I have my first appointment back with the new therapist on Thursday… can already feel a slight sense of dread.

    Take care of yourself x


    Tuesday, 22nd September 2009 at 7:26 pm

    • Alison – It has indeed been and gone. It was better than I’d feared.

      You are right about making that call. I think about it plenty of times but chicken out. I think they should set up an email support service instead of the phone. I’d use that and I’m sure others would.

      You are right about Dr G. It’s almost a year since I first met her now. It was hard leaving day care after months of it, but leaving all contact with The Priory will be even harder.

      I’m not surprised you’re struggling with the L-thing. It will bring up memories. Hopefully your therapist can help you with that.



      Thursday, 24th September 2009 at 10:25 pm

  3. How odd – our CHMT is also a dilapidated old school on a council estate, it’s a total nightmare to get to! I’m reading your history little by little. I hope you are well xx


    Monday, 4th April 2011 at 10:50 pm

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