I’m angry. I’m really, really angry. I said last night that I was pissed about how unsupported the hospital has left me this last week, but it’s more than that, it’s their whole attitude. There’s the psych unit on one hand and all the difficulties I’ve had with them over the years, but then A&E last week……….they just let me walk out!! One minute I’m on a trolley hooked up to a drip, the next, quite literally, I’ve been unhooked and told I’m discharged (with a very confusing conversation in between in which a nurse told me I was being admitted, and the psychiatrist told me I wasn’t). That’s it. No comment on what happened, whether or not I did any lasting damage, if there’s anything I should look out for, any possible side effects. No question as to how I was getting home, if I had anyone waiting for me, if I was even in a position to contact anyone. Nothing. I literally walked out into the waiting room, went into the toilet to pull off the various electrode type things that were dotted over me, and wandered out into the carpark, where I had to ring Hubby to come get me. He was forty minutes away. Forty minutes in which I had to find somewhere to put myself in my completely dazed and disoriented state. I was dizzy, I’d barely eaten, I was really thirsty, and I hadn’t a bean on me so I couldn’t even go and get myself a cup of tea and sit somewhere. Instead I just started walking, and eventually Hubby picked me up.

How is that ok? I get that some people will be pissed off at what I’ve just written, after all, I had created the situation myself so why should it be any different? Why should anyone be looking out for me? I don’t get what it takes to get help in this country, I really don’t. I wonder sometimes, and increasingly of late, whether this kind of behaviour, which might garner a different reaction for someone else, is being classed as typical bpd attention seeking behaviour and so not worthy of response? But here’s the thing. I’ve tried explaining how much I’m struggling, but that hasn’t worked. My GP has tried explaining, that hasn’t worked. Things got out of control and last week happened. That didn’t work. What exactly do I have to do? I’m not even sure what it is I expect at this point. I guess in an ideal world scenario my GP, psychiatrist and Therapist would communicate with each other and find some kind of short term solution to get me over this blip. But Therapist is private, so she’s out of the loop, and god only knows when the hospital will get in touch with my GP. Surely there should be some kind of community care for when things like this happen? Someone who can act as a bridge between services until the crisis has passed? At the very least be available for a quick phone call when I get overwhelmed? I cannot be the only person who has found themselves in this position, and I’ve no doubt there are people out there in worse situations, people who don’t have the family support I have. What happens to them?

I am almost constantly wrestling with the urge to hurt myself lately. I haven’t done, not since Monday, but it’s taking everything I’ve got not to. I’m not doing this for attention. How I feel is not a choice. I’m choosing to fight it. But I really feel like my family and I have been left to fight it alone.

This article has 15 Comments

  1. I wonder if Pieta House would be in a position to lobby or help – I would certainly contact them.
    I understand that there may be staff shortages, but I think it is seriously awful the way you were treated. In this day and age, there should be much communication links between, GP, therapist (whether or not she is private) and psych.
    Stay strong….the sun will come out from behind the storm clouds

    1. You'd think there would be more communication alright, wouldn't you, it just doesn't make sense to keep the one person who knows me best out of the loop. Thankfully doing better now but that was a really scary time.

  2. I don't have any helpful suggestions. I agree with all that you've said, there should be something to fill the gap. There is nothing like that here either. But I will keep you in my thoughts. Colleen in NY

  3. The money's just not being put into the health service, in particular the mental health service. If anything, all the money's being drained out of it and it's causing a lot of professionals to emigrate. There's a website http://www.studentsagainstdepression.org and it really helped me deal with suicidal thoughts-there's a safety plan in one of the handouts that I've actually used in the past. I told my GP that I was suicidal and all that happened was that my prescription was reduced to 2 weeks as opposed to 4 and there was a little note on my prescription so the pharmacist had a quick chat with me. But other than that, I didn't get any support as such-and I was private so going private isn't necessarily a golden ticket in this country..it merely gets you access to therapy but I haven't found the therapy itself all that helpful.

    There's no regulation on therapists in this country-anyone can call themselves a therapist…even if they've only done a weekend course! But there is a difference in terms of qualifications and experience between, say, a psychologist and a counsellor plus psychologists tend to specialise in a certain area so even a psychologist may not be that equipped to deal with certain types of patients.There's not enough emphasis on evidence based treatments such as CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). It frustrates me that there's no end in sight when you go to a therapist-you're just told to go for an indefinite length of time. It's not structured at all and I think this is why therapy hasn't helped me all that much. It made me feel out of control-that I was just being fobbed off by a therapist each week instead of getting actual help.

    Another thing I notice is that therapists get annoyed when I know stuff about psychology because it puts them out of a job! I try to learn all I can about psychology because I've lost faith in them (therapists) to help me. But I think they regard me as a "know-it-all" to be honest..that I'm acting like a psychologist when I'm not one and that's not it at all! I just want to help myself-that's literally it. But it's still frustrating to witness this kind of self-aggrandising attitude from mental health professionals.

    1. It's so important when you start working with a therapist that you check to make sure they have all the appropriate accreditation. As you say, there are a lot of courses out there that don't really qualify people for anything, but because there's no regulation of the profession, there's nothing can be done. I think that's set to change soon which will be fantastic, because those who are properly trained really can do fantastic work. I hope you meet someone you click with that can help you. It can take some time, try and be patient with yourself

  4. Sorry to hear Fiona about the place you been left in the by system. I think it shows that behind all the bullshit being talked about improving mental health services, on top of allegedly greater public awareness, is the age old dilemma that we are left to suffer, preferably in silence. There is no apparent system to help us in the worse of times.

    I love all the activity in the campaigns like See Change, Please Talk and many others which are seeking fight stigma and improve attitudes. But I despair sometimes that it's pissing into a wind of official indifference. Easily available and affordable crisis services do not seem to exist. You are expected to find your own answers.

    The urge to self-harm and/or ideate about suicide is strong. I spend time there. BUT I think that we do owe a duty to those around us to fight with every fibre, using the devestation our absence would cause, as some kind of reason to keep the fight in the day. You are not alone in all of this. And how you write is inspiring in its honesty.

    I hope you find some way to fight off the black dog when at its fiercest. Its a menacing foe. But keep talking to family and friends, and keep writing. Wishing you well SSASS

    1. THank you. I often think the same about the various campaigns – it's beyond frustrating that when people are ready to talk and ask for help, there's often no help to be had. It's not just frustrating, it's dangerous, and will put people off looking for help in the future. I think things are changing, it's just happening so slowly. I guess all we can do is keep talking, and keep fighting.

  5. Okay, we know how bad our health systems is, not to mention out non existent Mental Health System. So what do you do???
    Do you sit around and wait for the health system to get better…well if you do, you'll be left waiting.
    You need to take the bull by the horns and turn your anger into a positivity. A positivity to push yourself into seeing help for yourself.
    Yes its a time to be selfish…YOU NEED MORE HELP.
    The constant urge to hurt yourself is a worrying one. Your children and husband need you. They need you unhurt.
    I bet you'd go to the end of the earth to protect them???? Well you need to go to the end of the earth to protect yourself.
    Please contact Pieta House……..they can at least help you along with supporting you.
    But this fight is your fight and its up to you to want to fight it. Hard as it may seem but people need you around.

    Best of luck with it xxxx

  6. I nearly lost myself at 15 from a suicide, and several times there after.. There were dozens of small things that built up over time and a few big problems that could have seemed impossible to have undone, and this was the same in all my ages of distress. No matter how hard I tried life is always changing, events change us, but it's up to us as to how it changes us. I choose to survive for me and for those around me, I choose to move forward to help me. And those around me. I do not know you personally, but I have known the pain before one's decision to die, I also know that most do it out of love. Mistakes are made in life, and dying by one's own hand is just that. We are not taught enough as a child about life and of coping with its hard moments. So many things could have been done, or maybe none at all. Looking back I wish I could tell myself at 15 to live through the pain, things are hard and will hurt, but things get better, especially if I choose to make a difference, if I move forward. But I can't, so I will ask you to listen to my words, and move forward. Dark moments happen all the time, we just need to make sure that we don't allow those moments to overshadow living again, for you and those around you. Ray and I believe in you, so believe with us. We all fight together change this broken system and you battle for this has made a difference… so we will keep this battle going, for us and those around us. You're never alone no matter how it may seem, stay strong, stay safe.

  7. Isnt it awful how people are being treated in A&E …it is like we aren't human or something We don't go to A&E for fun we go cause we NEED HELP …we are at our lowest at this time and need support How can a person be let out of A&E without checking that someone is there at the very least after what happened How many people are let out and have no one and the ending is tragic ??? I often reflect how my vet treats my pets compared to how human are treated and it amazes me how pets are treated better than humans in this country Why cant our health minister make a surprise visit to all the A&E's in the country to see how bad things really are ? it is no good visiting in planned trips when all the "dirty laundry" is locked away

    1. Agreed. It's scary to think how many people are pushed into really desperate situations because the help they so badly need isn't available. I can also see how easily it could happen – I have really good support but it was still terrifying. Imagine I had to walk out with no one to turn to? I don't like to think how that could turn out.

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