Saturday, 10 February 2018

Losing Faith


It's fair to say, I've been through the mill, as the saying goes, over the last few months. I've reached depths I never thought I would or, indeed, could. I've discovered that I am a natural born fighter; that even when I've wanted to give up, throw the towel in and just end it all, I wouldn't allow myself to, at least not all the time I still had some fight left. If I weren't such a fighter, I guarantee, I would not be here now. Thankfully, I'm a stubborn cow, so you're stuck with me. Sadly for you, I will fight against anything which I feel is wrong, unhelpful or unfair.

Almost all the help I received, I found out about and reached out for on my own. I had very little help. I was in crisis and I was alone. Our family worker asked me recently if I had support from the Mental Health Team. Surprise, surprise, no I did not, and do not, but do you know what? I'm fine with that, in fact, I'm more than fine. Let me explain.

Prior to going to the Maytree, a few people asked what my diagnosis was, and did I have a personality disorder. When I returned home, I decided that I should ask for a referral to check my diagnosis was correct. Thankfully, though I have traits of a Personality Disorder, I do not tick all the boxes and they appear to be happy with my medication. I was, and still am happy with this outcome.

However, today I received my copy of the letter which the Mental Health Team have sent to my GP following my assessment and let me tell you, I am absobloodylutely fuming! Oh, and have pretty much lost all faith in their ability to help.


To begin with, the letter is addressed to a GP at a different surgery. The address is correct, but the GP is not. Now, I realise that this isn't exactly a life and death issue, but as someone who has spent most of her working life writing letters to customers, other professionals and the like, I do feel it's of the utmost importance that a letter should be addressed correctly. Particularly when it is in regards to someone's health.

The contents of the letter are then broken into sub headings. I'm pleased to say that the first two sub headings 'Reason for Referral' and 'Appearance/Presentation' are absolutely spot on. I am particularly pleased to see it noted that, at the grand age of 47, I have finally mastered the art of dressing appropriately for the weather. Apologies, but even in crisis I would have found that statement somewhat patronising. I may be mentally ill, but I am most certainly not a bloody idiot! Anyway, moving on...

...sub headings, 'Current Situation,' 'Risk,' 'Personal and Family Situation,' and 'Activities of Daily Living,' are all misquoted, missing information and as such, a load of rubbish. Whilst some of the information is correct, it has been muddled and incorrect dates and/or scenarios used. In the job I currently do, and in previous jobs, if my records were this full of holes, this misquoted, this incorrect, I would be in a whole big pile of brown smelly stuff. This is important information about my health, it needs to be correct.

Finally, and bearing in mind this is the Mental Health Team; you would expect them to be well versed in dealing with people suffering from all sorts of MH issues and, therefore, be aware of terms to use. or not to use, which may act as triggers for the patient. Alas no!

Something many people with MH illnesses struggle with is the stigma attached to this unseen issue. Often, we are not believed and helpful folk will tell you to, 'think positive,' 'pull yourself together,' you know the usual stuff. It's so disheartening not to be believed or understood, and it can make you want to give up. Imagine then, if you will, how it might feel for a person, unlike my stubborn ass self, to see the words 'denied' used SEVEN times in one letter. To use the word 'denied' is insensitive and, in my opinion, unprofessional. Denied implies the subject is lying. Denied implies you don't believe them. Denied confirms to them that no one believes they are ill. I am so on my high horse at the moment, and I am not getting off it!

I have to write reports in my job. Reports which I know will be seen by the person they are written about. I have been trained to keep them positive and to word things sensitively, because the subject of the report will likely be suffering some emotional trauma.

Thankfully, this stubborn bitch is a prize fighter, so the only effect that stupid misguided word, and all the inaccurate reporting has had, is to make me mad. Well that, and given me all the more reason to fight for those suffering with poor MH.

On Tuesday, I have an appointment with my GP. I like my GP, she's a lovely caring lady. You have to wait quite a while to see her, she's always running late, but that's because she genuinely cares about her patients. I am going to thank her again for the referral she made, but I am also going to ask her to whom I should make an official complaint.

For those of you still in that lonely, dark place. Let me assure you, you are believed and I am not going to stop fighting.



Useful Links:

Mind

Sane

Samaritans

Young Minds


8 comments:

  1. It's OK to be the last (wo)man Standing - ad long as you STAND!
    Keep on keeping on!

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    1. Oh I keep getting up, don't worry x. Thank you for your super comment x

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  2. Oh this really does sadden me. keep fighting, but don't wear yourself out, looking after you is the main priority right now x

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    1. Thanks so much Anne. I would never have believed how bad things were had I not experienced it first hand. Will try to look after me, but now Miss. L is having a crisis of her own. Let's see how CAMHS fair.

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  3. Good for you to continue fighting and putting in a complaint. It is appealing that something so simple that they appear to be incompetent. As a person with mental health myself I can relate. After years of fighting I finally had a really good CPN (Had him for nearly 10 years before signing me off). I think listening is one of the most important thinks for a person and being heard. Good luck with referral. P.S. I still fail at dressing appropriately, luckily my carer, AKA my hubby helps. X #mmbc

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    1. Ah thanks for your comment. It's just one constant battle to get the right care or even care. My GP is fabulous and we'll get there. I'll bet you don't fail at dressing appropriately when it's freezing cold outside xxx

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  4. Good for you! Make that complaint. It sounds like it is needed.
    Stay strong xxx

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    1. Do you know what really bothers me. My reports are written for social workers and have to be factually correct. This report was written by a social worker! I'm certainly not going to let it slide xxx

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