Into the system…

blogging, work, mental health, therapy, disability, benefits and more…

Found Again…

with 20 comments

So this time I’ve been found by my NHS team! Eep!

It seems that the odd slip with references to the hospital I am in and the local NHS trust means someone has put two and two together and for once, sadly got four. I’ve been told that someone on the CMHT reads mental health blogs (presumably Mental Nurse) and came across my blog, spotting a reference to this hospital. Of course with knowing the trust and what ward I was likely to be on, they realised who I was talking about. So the URL was passed on to the team here and they presumably quickly identified me.

I am annoyed at myself for leaving too many clues. It may have been easier if I had been more careful. We all could have carried on in ignorant bliss and not had to consider the consequences, but what is done. In some ways maybe it is just better that things are in the open.
I found out that they knew yesterday in ward round, but I was so shocked that I didn’t really know what to say or ask. I met my consultant again today so we managed to discuss it a little further.

My consultant says she has read very little, but I do not know how much has been read by others. She consulted the Trust’s Communications Team and her union for advice. The Communications Team can’t really do anything. I have not been libelous towards the trust and they agree that because it is a public forum I can pretty much write what I like. I suspect I may be monitored for a while though just incase I say anything they object to. The union suggested that ethically my consultant should respect my anonymity and discontinue reading. She agreed that as it was not written for her she doesn’t think it is fair for her to read it. I think I trust her on this. She seems fair.

Apparently a *lot* of people know about it, but only my medical staff actually know it is me. Nothing will go in my notes, other than mention that I do have a blog, which was in there already, so future doctors are unlikely to know.

It seems that my blog is gaining notoriety within the trust though. I wonder how far the gossip mill will spread. Before I know it, my GP and god knows who else might find out. Too late now to worry about that. Will come to it as it happens.

I do not really know what I am to do. I have removed a few obvious references including any mentions of this Trust’s name or the hospital, but without rewriting the whole thing it would be hard to hide everything. The thing is, most of my blog only means something if you know me and my story or the places and people involved. I don’t use full names, so it is not like I could be easily googled. The average person reading would not know or care who Dr N, Dr M or DP really is.

I don’t really want to stop writing and see little point in becoming even more anonymous or censoring things. It has been suggested I may want to lay low for a while so that this can blow over, but I am unsure. I could go password protected for a while, allowing me to keep my posts for trusted parties only, but I don’t know if I really want to do that either.

My consultant wants me to think about the future and how I would feel if this happens again with a different group of people. Of course thinking about the future is not something I’m all that good at right now, considering I tried to end it all a couple of weeks ago, but nevermind. Her concern is I may not be too bothered now, but maybe if it came up with future employers or whatever, how would I feel then? I don’t know. I have pondered this a lot in the past. My instinct is that I should not be ashamed and should not hide. To do so only reinforces mental health stigma that you should not talk about these things. I am also not sure hiding multiple hospitalisations for mental illness would be that easy anyway. It would probably come out eventually so if it is this way, then so be it.

I do need to think about it. I am not ashamed of what I write. I know that my blog is appreciated by a wider audience these days. Recognition from Mental Nurse and OneinFour tells me that this is worth doing, not just because I find it therapeutic, but because people want to read what I have to say. I also think that mental health blogging is becoming a new force in the world of mental health and I want to remain a part of that. I like that this blog gives me a voice. Mental health patients so rarely get to say what they think. It often feels like we aren’t trusted or respected enough to have an opinion. The system is flawed and those of us that can, need to say so, or change is never going to happen.

I still haven’t found any definitive conclusions. Anyone reading have any thoughts?

I don’t think I’ll have my phone again for a little while so I don’t suppose I will be writing much anyway but I don’t know what is going to happen. I am getting more escorted leave now as they want to encourage me to see that there is a life out there, but they are keeping the safety net of the ward in place whilst I am still a risk.

For those of you wondering how I am, I am surviving. Feel like I’m in autopilot a lot of the time and struggling for the rest of it, but the days are ticking away and I am still here. I have to admit I’ve been considering plenty of ways not to be, but they have most bases covered here. Progress is slow at best or perhaps even nonexistent, but I think people here are trying, considering the very limited options available to them.

p.s. If you are reading this and related to the trust, hospital or CMHT then I would appreciate it if you leave, but I understand that it is up to you. You could of course join in the discussions going on here and elsewhere in the mental health blogosphere rather than just snooping on me!

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Into the system...

20 Responses

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  1. I have been wondering/worrying about you and debating the appropriateness of asking Em to pass on a message, not knowing if she was still visiting you or not.

    May I ask, why don’t you have your phone?

    I’ve discussed this issue with my psychotherapist and she reassured me that if she was reading my blog without my permission it would say more about her than me. At the same time, we’re both concerned someone from group might find it – neither of us wants that. To prevent that, I had said I would shut it down. As you can see though, I haven’t.

    It’s a funny feeling, isn’t it? It’s here for the world to see and yet if someone you know IRL is reading without your permission you do feel as if they’re spying. And is it wrong of them. They’re doing something they know you wouldn’t want them to do.

    I went password protected and lost about 3/4 of my readers so it’s hard to recommend it. On the other hand, I couldn’t write such whiney self-indulgent crap if I knew there was a chance random people would show up and abuse me.


    Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 5:42 pm

    • Ditto on the no phone issue. During a recent ‘stay’ getting a friend on the outside to set up a twitter account, and learning how to tweet by text helped my saneness massively and also helped me handle an abuse incident that occured. Had I not been surprise desectioned when I was I was planning to bring forward my iPhone purchase in order to have net access.

      It’s been a lingering thought that if they twigged I had 2-way net access *from inside!* reasons why said device was a “risk” to me would shortly be conjured up.

      Anon Coward

      Tuesday, 2nd February 2010 at 12:09 am

      • It wasn’t my team that were bothered about the internet access. It was my family. They had a belief that I should have been concentrating on getting better, not spending time online, especially not twitter or blogging!


        Tuesday, 16th February 2010 at 3:58 pm

        • Sorry, that makes me angry. Why the Hell would they think sharing your feelings and talking to people who will understand wouldn’t help you get better? Everyone commenting here knows one of the worst things about mental illness is how it isolates you and that sometimes that’s worse than the illness itself – and yet they want you to isolate yourself more? If this wasn’t helping you, that’s one thing. But you’ve clearly expressed time and time again that is. I can’t believe how narrow their thinking is. “Talk your pill and shut up.” Maybe that makes THEM feel better, not you.


          Friday, 19th February 2010 at 8:43 pm

          • Take your pill, not talk. Talking to your pills *is* crazy.


            Friday, 19th February 2010 at 8:45 pm

  2. Fuck ’em.

    If they have an ounce of credibility and integrity they will not read your blog.

    And I hope your moron of a social worker (you reading this? pay attention) realises what a moron she is if she does read it.

    Remember, you can write what you like, as long as you don’t mention names and libel them. You can even mention names, if you are not libelous. How they feel about it is NOT your problem.

    Also, remember that having a public voice is very helpful when it comes to dealing with obstructive bureaucrats. They may be a bit more helpful if in the back of your mind is the worry you may blog about them.

    I have no idea if any of the Royal Edinburgh staff read my blog. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Not my problem.

    DeeDee Ramona

    Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 6:59 pm

  3. Love DeeDee’s reply so much! To be honest I think your Consultant’s question about how you would feel about employers finding it etc is a little irrelevant – for them to find it and know it was you they would have to know your full medical history, and if they know that then reading this isn’t going to tell them anything new if that makes sense? And as for the trust goes – you aren’t writing anything that isn’t untrue – it is just your perspective on things, and I don’t see how they can object to that.


    Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 7:33 pm

    • You are right. I thought the same about future employers. There is no way they could identify me and even if they did I really don’t think I’d care.


      Tuesday, 16th February 2010 at 4:06 pm

  4. I think keep going.
    It’s something I’ve pondered a lot having just started my blog…..given my career choice and how few people know about my issues it’s not something I’d want people to read and connect to me. But then I thought about it and went down the “F*ck them” route.
    I’m not going to go out of my way to make it known who I am, but I’m not going to censor myself or force myself to obsess over who might think what about me. I don’t need the extra worry!

    I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the stigma. It IS important to talk about these things, try and break down those barriers and stigmas. It deserves the same sort of respect, concern or whatever else of any other long-term illness.

    I hope you start making some significant progress soon + I’m glad to hear that you think the people are trying to help :) xxx


    Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 7:46 pm

  5. DeeDee put it perfectly, in my view. Fuck ’em.

    None of them are personally identifiable, and I fail therefore to see why you don’t have a right to write about your life and experiences as much as anyone else. As you quite rightly say, in many ways it is desirable for those of us that have the cognitive capacity to write to actually do so, in a fight against stigma.

    I sometimes protect certain entries that I fear they will read (as the shrink knows that I write, and to be honest a quick Google search would have taken him straight to my blog. I don’t know whether he has the requisite integrity to avoid doing so or not). So if you felt more comfortable with doing that until this blows over, it would certainly be a shame, but may give you peace of mind.

    But again, I think DeeDee’s right; if they have any professional integrity, they should not be intruding here. If they are, then as far as I can see, it’s them breaking boundaries, not you.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

    Serial Insomniac

    Wednesday, 27th January 2010 at 9:56 pm

  6. I agree with what everyone else had said- keep going. You have a right to keep your own blog and write about your thoughts, experiences and everything else and it’s not like people reading would know the people you talk about seeing as you use initials. Writing is worth doing and people do want to read what you have to say. It’s interesting to read other people’s experiences with mental health. Hopefully your consultant does respect your privacy and that you do not want your blog read by them.


    Thursday, 28th January 2010 at 12:54 am

  7. I’m another one who agrees with DeeDee. Seriously, they’re just embarrassed about their own inadequacies and gaps in their care. They’ve said that it’s not libelous, you’re not committing a crime just voicing your opinion. Something you have a right to do. The future employee argument smacks of scare mongering to be perfectly honest. The average reader doesn’t know what you look like, where you live etc etc and it’s got to be a one in at least a few million chance of that future employee tripping up on this. There are millions of blogs. Millions of people with your name. Millions of people with a mental illness. Millions who’ve been in hospital. You can’t be identified by anyone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of your illness and your person. Long way of saying ignore them!

    Love and stuff. xx


    Thursday, 28th January 2010 at 5:58 pm

    • I do need to think about it. I am not ashamed of what I write. I know that my blog is appreciated by a wider audience these days. Recognition from Mental Nurse and OneinFour tells me that this is worth doing, not just because I find it therapeutic, but because people want to read what I have to say. I also think that mental health blogging is becoming a new force in the world of mental health and I want to remain a part of that. I like that this blog gives me a voice. Mental health patients so rarely get to say what they think. It often feels like we aren’t trusted or respected enough to have an opinion. The system is flawed and those of us that can, need to say so, or change is never going to happen.

      I think this says it all, look what happened to me in December when my blog was forced into the eyes of my college tutors by two other students, the tutors didn’t know how to handle it. At first they wanted me to remove all posts relating to lessons even though the college and tutors could not be identified in anyway and then asked me to stop writing and I refused. In the end when I explained why I wrote was because it was to break the stigma for people living with mental health problems they began to understand and almost overnight my blog hits went up! I had people coming up to me in class telling me they were reading and thought how I wrote was really good! I am almost certain tutors are still reading my blog now as my blog hits are still continuously high, but I am more wary now about what I write about college and any rants I password protect now!

      Of course I had a similar problem when I was in the Therapeutic Community the staff there knew I blogged and where not keen on the fact I did, whether they ever found my blog and read it I’ll never know but since I write under my real name it’s easy to find, just my Google my first name and a few of my favourite things I’m easy to find!

      I think you should just continue as you do, you have respected their wishes and you will in the future. If they respect yours and don’t read then so be it! If they wish to continue to read then that’s fine so long as they still treat as if they were not reading.
      In the mean time, take care of yourself xxx


      Thursday, 28th January 2010 at 8:20 pm

  8. That’s so terrifying. I’m being really careful with my blog to keep it anon, but I worry about things, like if i share part of an anecdote with someone that I also wrote about in my blog that I open myself up to possibly being discovered.


    Saturday, 30th January 2010 at 10:56 pm

  9. Once upon a time, I found a blog by a friend that I was fairly sure she didn’t intend me to find. I knew of her ‘real’ blog, and she was happy with me reading that. This other one, I put two and two together and figured out it was hers as well.

    So I emailed her and said “I think I’ve found your secret blog. Would you rather I didn’t read it?” She said that she’d rather I didn’t, or if I did, then I wasn’t to talk to her about it. I haven’t looked at it since.

    And I managed all this while being younger, crazier and less-trained than your medical professionals. It ain’t difficult.

    Sappho says “if you are squeamish, don’t prod the beach rubble”. No-one has a right to be outraged by something they went looking for without permission. It’s similar to the idea that eavesdroppers never hear anything good about themselves.


    Monday, 1st February 2010 at 11:39 am

  10. I have thought about this issue a lot, given that I blog with my own name and, even though I don’t post comments with my full name anymore, since it’s my blog URL it is easy to find out. My main concern has so far mainly been oher people’s privacy and what they will do if they find out I blog about them. I now don’t use names anymore for this reason (a former teacher at one point found my blog by googling her own rather unusual name and, while she didn’t take offence, I could see why some people would). Then again if I talk about “my psychologist”, most people in the hospital will know who she is. I do try to be careful with nasty comments abut staff for thsi reason. I have no clue whether my staff read my blog or have ever doen so or not. I think they do know that I have a blog. Basically I don’t really care whether they read it or not; stuff that is too personal to share with my staff, should not go online.

    As for employers, well, I can’t imagine being employed anytime soon. The matter has crossed my mind indeed, but I don’t know how to handle it if I don’t want to remove my whole (rather large) blog and website etc. This is the reason I don’t use my full name on sites like Twitter, but the blog just well, I don’t know really and can’t imagine since employment isn’t on my midn at all really anyway.


    Thursday, 4th February 2010 at 2:00 pm

  11. Publish and be damned imho. There is no true privacy in the age of the internet


    Thursday, 11th February 2010 at 7:01 pm

  12. Please do publish and don’t be afraid. I’ve spent the last few days not writing because the first edit of my last post got me in all sorts of shit but I regret having to censor myself. It’s only through being open that anything can change.


    Sunday, 14th February 2010 at 1:59 am

  13. I worry too, but, really, your name isn’t anywhere, you don’t mention full names, etc. I’m equally careful, but there’s one person I know who has explicit permission to read, and he does, occasionally, and we talk about it. But if you haven’t given someone permission, then they shouldn’t read it, right?


    Monday, 15th February 2010 at 8:53 pm

  14. Was going to try and reply to you all, but it would take me a while and I would probably just end up repeating myself lots.

    Thanks everyone. I think this has pretty much blown over and you are all of course right that I can write what I like and should keep writing. It’s just been a little strange really knowing that they are aware of my blog.


    Tuesday, 16th February 2010 at 4:21 pm

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