I saw the psychologist today, ostensibly to finish my pre DBT assessment but as there were issues locating my file we never got to that. What we did get to was that the absolute earliest I’ll be starting DBT is March, but she can’t guarantee me a place. It feels as though the level of certainty on this has slipped a notch since last seeing her. Call me cynical, but I see one of two things happening:

  1. I do really well the next few months, so they decide I don’t need DBT anymore and discharge me.
  2. I don’t do really well, still don’t get any support till March at the earliest, but struggle like hell in the meantime.

Kind of feels like something of a lose lose situation. I get the logic behind making me wait, kind of – the theory goes that there should be a gap of at least 6 months between therapies so there’s no confusion over different types of therapy, and so I’ve time to consolidate the work I did with Therapist and learn to cope on my own. But why then did Therapist think it so important for me to start seeing someone else straight away? What am I supposed to do with such conflicting opinions?

I got really, really angry this evening. The more I thought about the whole thing, the more ridiculous it seems. Therapist couldn’t continue working with me because I was too attached and it was triggering the most damaging of my bpd traits, so she’s out of the equation. Yet because of my attachment to her, and my need ‘to grieve’ (use of inverted  commas very deliberate there) I’m not allowed to access further support. This inability to access further support is quite likely to lead to my struggling to cope,  and in fact already has done on several occasions over the last few weeks, which perhaps not surprisingly, also triggers damaging behaviour. Anyone else see the ridiculous irony in all this? My behaviour has been deemed damaging enough to warrant accessing DBT, yet at the same time it’s assumed I’m capable of managing without support for the next 6 months minimum.  I feel like I’ve been hung out to dry.

This article has 6 Comments

  1. I don’t think that level of uncertainty is acceptable. I wonder if you would consider asking them explicitly what specific reason would there be *not* to access DBT in March. Best of luck. Dealing with Irish health services when you have been diagnosed with BPD sucks.

    1. It’s certainly challenging! I guess places will be assigned according to need, so if there’s someone in a worse position than me I guess they get the place ahead of me. I’ve been told they’re optimistic I’ll get a place so I have to hold on to that, although will admit I have very little faith in them coming through for me.
      Yup, mental health services are not fantastic here, hope your experience has been better

  2. Sorry to say, but I think the whole gap idea is rubbish. Just speaking from my own experience, I was offered DBT group immediately upon discharge from hospital…..all the while continuing with my regular therapist. It is not something that has to be done on its own….it is a big time committment which you already know. There is no reason that you can’t find a new therapist and keep that therapist while you wait and then do the DBT. Things may work differently procedurally by you, then over here…..I could understand that…..but medically speaking I’ve seen lots and lots of folks do both at the same time. Plus attend other group therapy sessions. I did not do the DBT course due to $$ (not sure if my insurance would pay….I’ve since learned that is not an issue) but the time was also difficult due to the need to be home with my son. So my therapist has worked teaching me DBT skills into our sessions. That has helped A LOT. Since she knows me she really has an idea of what skills will work for me, and does not spend much time on ones she knows if I do at home in front of my family they will look at me sideways. So I guess I’d say that if you have the option of starting with another therapist now then go for it, and still do the DBT when the spot comes opens. Just one girls opinion to another. Colleen from NY

    1. Thanks Colleen. I would love to have just continued with Therapist, and I think now with the benefit of(? or having endured) almost 3 long months without her I think I’d be in a better position to work with her on specific dbt stuff. Of course, that’s not an option anyway and may be wishful thinking on my part in imagining I’d be able to maintain boundaries properly……
      I don’t know. Mostly I’m just going to go by what I’m told because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll miss out on dbt entirely. Will just have to see how it goes x

  3. I don’t have BPD however I do have experience of trying to navigate the Irish mental health system. I’ve also been given conflicting professional opinions from the therapists I’ve been to and the psychiatrist I attended. I can’t help but feel that they are probably trying to fob you off in saying that you need time to “grieve”-the more truthful answer is that DBT is in high demand in Ireland and there’s very few spaces for it. This type of thing is why I don’t trust therapists-I feel that they tend to waffle at times to save their own backs-it’s not really about patient care. Of course, their argument would be that additional DBT spaces requires more govt funding and our govt appear very reluctant to fund mental health. Apologies-I’m probably ranting here but it’s just something I feel strongly about. In the meantime, use some tools to keep yourself safe from self-harm etc, seek support. There’s a good self-harm and suicide prevention plan on the students against depression website which I use and I find extremely helpful. Again, had to look up this info myself! So my point is that perseverance is required, I guess.. that if you’re not getting the adequate support, try to find some interim support in the meantime.

    1. Thanks. Must admit I’m not convinced by their argument either, but at the same time I don’t want to go against their advice in case it jeapordises my chances of getting dbt at all. I’m talking to friends/family when I can, and will go to my gp if needs be, he’s really good. Other than that I’ll just have to wait and try and mind myself.
      Hope you’re doing ok

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