Tuesday, 8 February 2011


I can honestly say I have never felt so hopeless in my life. I saw L this morning. I had a hideous night last night, I was feeling truly desperate and really struggling a lot, and so I was exhausted and very tense by my appointment this morning, and to be honest I went in there wanting to die far more than I wanted to get better. I can't remember it in too much detail, as my head was all over the place. At first I was finding it really difficult as there were lots of slamming doors and people talking and laughing really loudly and it was making me feel very on edge. She asked how I was. She asked what the most difficult thing to deal with was at the moment, and what was occupying most of my thoughts, and I said definitely suicidal thoughts. She asked how they had changed since I saw her 2 weeks ago: in intensity or frequency, or type, and I said all three. I had written down some of my thoughts last night, as when I was feeling so bad last night I was talking to Part of Being Sane and she said to tell L everything that was going on, and suggested I write down everything I had said to her about suicidal thoughts, images etc etc and write it down so that I could give it to L today. I wasn't sure if I would be able to give it to her or not, but at this point I mentioned that I had written about it last night, as I felt like her reading it would be easier than me saying it, but she said she wanted me to try and explain first, so I did. She never mentioned what I had written again, so I didn't show her. I said a lot of it anyway - I think there are probably things I did forget to say, but nothing too major really.

She asked about what had happened with the crisis team - what they had said and who had I seen etc. I said about speaking to someone Friday night, and then them visiting Saturday, and saying they would call the next morning, but that nobody did, and then they suddenly turned up without any warning and hadn't read my notes, and then about speaking to the woman on the phone in the evening. I said they had talked about getting me to see either their team psychiatrist or Dr E as soon as possible, and said I now had no idea what was going on, as I had been told twice on Sunday that I would be called on Monday, and I hadn't heard anything. She said that they had spoken to her Monday and discharged me back to her, and told her that they either had or would contact me, which obviously they didn't, and that they hadn't mentioned anything about arranging a psychiatrist appointment. I felt immensely frustrated by this, as it was the one thing that everyone from the crisis team that I saw or spoke to had said would happen, and I was also really annoyed that I had been discharged without being told - I think they should do what they say they are going to even if they are planning to discharge you, as the woman Sunday night just said I only needed to focus on getting through Sunday night, and then they would be ringing first thing, and seeing me again etc, and then I heard nothing all day yesterday, and although I wasn't even sure whether or not I wanted to speak to them, I found it really hard that they didn't call - partly because waiting for their calls or visits makes me very anxious, and so I spent the entire day in a state of anxiety. So that is the end of their involvement

She asked how I thought things could change, and I said I had absolutely no idea. She asked if I had been seeing or talking to friends, and I said I hadn't seen or spoken to anyone on the phone, but that I had spoken to people online. For some reason she then went on to talk about relationships - how did I feel about them, did I ever feel like I wanted to be in a relationship with someone, how do I feel about it when things are better. She asked about my concentration, and whether anything at all helped at the moment. I suppose she was just asking the type of questions usually asked to gauge risk, and that things like relationships and thoughts about the future all come into that. She started saying something about getting through this, I can't remember what, and I suddenly felt like I had been hit by a tonne of bricks - I felt physically sick and incredibly anxious, and all I could think was that I couldn't cope and that I didn't want to get through this. She asked what the matter was and I explained that, and also said that last night was just more hideous than I could possibly even begin to describe and that I just could not face another night like that, and that even things got better they would get worse again, and I couldn't cope with that, and so the thought of getting through this wasn't what I wanted - I wanted to die more than I wanted my current feelings to change, because I knew even if they changed, I would end up feeling really awful again at some point and I just couldn't cope.

I can't remember if she asked me anything else or not at this point. She said that if things were as bad as this, then she needed to think about involving my parents. I tried to explain that I genuinely didn't feel it would help (I really don't, and not because I am worried they would be able to stop me from killing myself or anything - I just do not find it helpful). I said about the woman on Sunday night telling me to ask my parents to look in on me before I went to work, and how since then the suicidal thoughts changed in nature because I felt like I needed something without a time restraint like that as a result of what she said, and that since then I had felt worse and that was really when I started getting a lot of graphic images etc. She said that she had to assess risk, and felt that with everything I was saying about how suicidal I was feeling, not being able to see a future, not caring about anything etc etc, that she had to consider what to do, and that she felt it would be appropriate to have a CPA review with my parents as well, and that we also needed to look at if anything she was doing was helping if I was feeling this bad, or whether she was using a wrong approach, or was the wrong person to be working with me. All of this made me feel even worse - I felt like I was being backed into a corner with the situation with my parents, which immediately made me start having thoughts about killing myself as soon as possible, and I then felt like the only person in mental health I had ever really trusted was going to abandon me even if I did get through this, which was another reason not to. I said that I didn't understand how I could be considered high enough risk that my parents could be talked to against my wishes, and yet the crisis team had discharged me. She said that they had discharged me back to her, so it wasn't though I had just been discharged completely, but that they had presumably done their own risk assessments.

I can't really remember what happened then. I know she said that she was mindful of the time as she had a meeting to go to, but I can't remember if that was before I said the previous things or after. She made an appointment to see me in two weeks and told me to think about things and what I wanted to change, because at the moment she felt like there was nothing to work with as my outlook just seemed so bleak, and that she would organise a CPA review at some point with my parents as well, which I am assuming will be in more than two weeks, as she is apparently on leave next week. I asked how I was supposed to get through the next two weeks alone when I didn't feel able to get through another night like last night. I said that even the thought of knowing I am supposed to go to a rehearsal tonight made me feel really desperate and sends me into a panic. I know that I was difficult today. I was completely honest, but I was in a mood where I felt like I just wanted to die rather than get better, and said so, and I know that must have been really frustrating for her. I did explain that sometimes I did feel like I wanted to get better and wanted help, but that my mood just swings so quickly between the two. She said something about needing to make the decision to keep going or something, I can't really remember. I had started to cry by this point, which is very rare for me, and she said she really needed to go, so I got up to put on my scarf and jumper and was really upset by this point, and really just wanted to sit and bawl for a while, but I knew she would need to lock up the room and so that wasn't an option, so I just had to choke back the tears and leave. She said to take care and that she would see me in two weeks.

I am unsure if a) she doesn't believe I am feeling as bad as I am, b) truly believes that I will be able to get through the next two weeks with no support as I have coped in the past since I have been seeing her, or c) doesn't care what happens to me. I actually don't think it is a) - she seemed to fully believe what I was saying, although she seemed to be at a bit of a loss about what to say some of the time. It could be b) but I don't know how if she believes a). And it could be c) but she always used to care so I don't understand what changed if it is that. I am honestly at a complete loss as to what to do. Despite feeling so ambivalent about wanting help today I was still completely honest with her and told her everything, and I still don't understand how she can think a CPA with my parents is necessary, but giving me any support at all over the next two weeks isn't. I told my GP on Friday. I was honest as I could be with the crisis team. I feel like I have done absolutely everything that I can.


  1. I just do not know what to say Bip, lovely. I am so sorry nothing more practical by way of support came out of the meeting. My heart goes out to you. Love and hugs Bip. xxxx

  2. I'm so, so sorry. I think she is completely negligent and a new support worker would be better than a nice, but ineffective support worker.

    My heart goes out to you too. If there is ANYTHING I can do, just give me a yell. Always happy to chat to my friend Bip.

  3. I don't know what to say except that this simply isn't good enough, and that you deserve (and should be entitled to) much more support than this. Is there some service in the voluntary sector (Mind, Rethink?) that could help in the meantime? Or could you see your GP again a few times, to at least offload to someone if nothing else?

    God, I don't know. I'm clutching at straws here probably, but I'm so frustrated with how you've been treated. I can't image how you must therefore feel :(

    We're all here if you need to talk. I know it's probably not enough, but t's there.

    *massive hugs* and love to you.


  4. *hugs* I'm so sorry you're not getting adequate help.

  5. Oh, and I agree with Karita. I know you're attached to her and that she has generally been good for you, but what you've said about her in the last few months makes me wonder just how much she's taking you seriously. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but as I said, you do deserve better than this.


  6. I know who all of the other members of the team are and she is the best. There is only one other I would even consider seeing, but a friend who has been under both says L is better. It isn't just that L is nice that I have always been happy with her, in fact originally it was much less about her being nice than thinking she was effective. She has always been very supportive etc, but she isn't actually the type where nice would be the first word that would spring to mind - she is stronger than that. Most of the other team members are what I would consider nice but very wet, and give the have a bath or go for a walk advice if yu speak to them, which she never would. And I still think she is really good at working in a more therapeutic way, but obviously at the moment I am not able to do that, and perhaps she isn't as good in crisis periods. I don't know. There are no voluntary services that would be suitable in the area and my GP isn't working today. x

  7. How can crisis team discharge you if L is going on leave?! Seems totally daft. I'm sorry nothing more productive came out of your meeting... You deserve to be getting some answers or outcomes! I'm glad you were able to be honest with L though, just sorry it didn't really help.

    I do agree that maybe your parents should be involved? They know you have had crisis input so must have an idea domething is not right? If you have another night like last night please try and go to a&e or something! Xxxx

  8. Well she isn't on leave until next week, and since she only sees me every other week I doubt anyone even considered it mattered. There is no point in going to A&E - it is staffed by the same crisis team that have just discharged me without telling me. x

  9. I feel like no one is really listening to you. Only you know how the different people you see, help you. I was wondering too if you are 18 or older. If so,...it isn't right to involve your parents without your consent unless you are resistant to that because you don't want them to feel bad or you feel embarrassed. As I said, if you are 18 or older, you have a right to decide to disallow parental involvement. Peace.

  10. I'm astounded at the lack of concern from all these professional. It seems to me that they want to involve your parents because they don't know what to do with you (or can't be bothered to help?) so they're passing the buck by getting your parents involved hence they can 'babysit' you when they have no professional training which in my eyes just puts too much pressure and worry on them and doesn't do a damn thing for you.
    I haven't had any care except for seeing my P-doc every 7 to 8 weeks and all he does is give me meds. I get no counselling or therapy of any kind. I was always envious of everyone on here who received that care. But after following your blog, I wonder which is better. No care (me) or promised care and the run-around but never getting any substantial help (you)
    I really wished I could reach through this computer and give you a big hug.

  11. I regularly read but don't comment however felt I had to today. I'm in a hole myself so low on words, but I'm really sorry you are getting so little support. I've had similar experiences with crisis teams too so can empathise on that front. Don't know what else to say... I really hope things improve soon, you are obviously suffering deeply.

  12. Middle Child - I am 24. However, I live with my parents, and legally mental health services can break your confidentiality if they consider you to be at risk, regardless of your wishes. They would consider my parents my carers, and for example in the case of the Mental Health Act (sectioning), my mother would be my Nearest Relative, who legally must be involved. Obviously they aren't trying to section me so that isn't an issue, but unfortunately they are allowed to do it regardless of my age basically.

    My Black Fog - I think there is an element of trying to pass the buck. It is frustrating when you really do try and get help and just can't access it. There are also a lot of things that sound good in theory, like the crisis team (also called the home treatment team by the way - noticed you asking about them on someone else's blog). Sounds good in theory, but in practice virtually everyone seems to end up having negative experiences with them, because essentially they were created when the number of psych beds in this country was drastically slashed because of funding issues, and they realised that there were all these people who would normally be in hospital who couldn't get by with one appointment a week, so crisis teams were set up. However, even a daily visit can be totally inadequate, and certainly doesn't compare to being in hospital, which in a way is what it is supposed to do - only the most ill generally end up in hospital now, whilst everyone else who would have been hospitalised had they not taken away most of the beds ends up with daily phone calls or visits, which isn't really a substitute.

    There and Back - thank you. I used to read your blog and I wondered what had happened to you. I am sorry to hear that you are struggling too.


  13. Hey, I found your blog through Mental Nurse a while back but have never commented before.

    Could you phone an ask for an urgent appointment with your psychiatrist? I know you said you hadn't seen them in a while, but now it seems like you really need to.

    Take care of yourself x

  14. Hi :)

    I've read your blog on and off for a year or so, and just caught up with your most recent posts. It's so strange - it's almost exactly the same as my experiences at the beginning of 2007. The shitty inefficient crisis team, being told that I needed to "decide to live", having people act as if I couldn't possibly be suicidal if I wasn't actually downing pills at that very second - all of it. I wish I could say that your experiences shock me, or that they are not typical, but the treatment of people with chronic depression and other non-psychotic disorders in the UK does tend to go like that.

    I want to tell you that I felt as hopeless as you sound three years ago, and that it did pass, but I don't want to be patronising or to assume that my experience is generalisible to everyone else in similar situations. So I will just say that I know what it feels like and I am so, so sorry that you're suffering so much at that moment. I am under no illusions that it will help, but if you ever want someone else to talk to (someone from the UK who is all bitter about crisis teams!) then you are welcome to email me or find me on facebook (katie_cullinane@hotmail.com).

    I really hope this shit starts lifting a bit soon <3

  15. Oh I'm *so* sorry.
    You deserve better than that. That...non-help. The crisis team really sound useless; I'm so angry for you. As for L, I can only say I don't get it either, but it sounds like she *does* care. I can see why you feel let down.
    I don't know what to say, how you get through the next 2 weeks, except take it one day - one minute - at a time. You know I'm here if you need to talk, as are all the others commenting here. I think you do need to talk, it may sound trite, but just offloading everything might help you.

    Think about a retreat, as I said before, OK?
    Also, about an advocate. Someone mentioned voluntary services, are you sure there aren't any, maybe your local Mind can tell you?

    These might give you a tiny bit of comfort:



    (((((Bip))))) try to take care of yourself, hon.

  16. Oh, and this explains about advocacy: http://www.mind.org.uk/help/rights_and_legislation/mind_guide_to_advocacy.

    Sorry if I sound like I'm in solution mode, I'm not, just trying to suggest things you might want to consider. More hugs hon.

  17. I don't know what to say, but I am frustrated by reading this post. Having the crisis team sounded like a positive step and they seemed to be helpful and then suddenly they just stop it all for no reason and without telling you. There must be something going on behind the scenes there.

    I too am worried about how useful L is being. It seems like she has almost taken for granted that you manage despite things being so crap, without realising that maybe you won't be able to manage any more or that maybe her job is not to help you survive but to make things better.

    I don't know. Hope things pick up and you cope despite their lack of help.

  18. fwiw I don't think L doesn't care, just that she obviously has strong ideas about what is/isn't helpful and doesn't seem prepared to reconsider them. I seem to remember her once saying something along the lines of maybe she was wrong and hospital and medication was what you needed. She's gambling - with your life - that she's right. And some of the things she says aren't really true. for instance while you can still kill yourself in hospital if you're really determined to, it's a great deal harder, so hospital *can* help to keep you safe.

    I strongly suspect that the crisis team discharged you because of something L said. Because the way they were treating you - visiting you *and* phoning you, talking about involving your parents, urgent referrals to psychiatrists etc - suggests that they were really quite concerned. To go from that to L saying she'll see you in a fortnight - well, you must be very confused because I sure am.

  19. grr, I really wish they would stop being rediculous and give you the extra support that you obviously need.
    I wish I could lend you cc.
    Take care my dear.