I’m experiencing too many negative emotions at this moment in time. Anger, confusion, despair, frustration, sadness.
Yesterday (it’s just past midnight) I went to see a psychiatrist as instructed by the therapist I saw last Wednesday. The intention was for him to confirm my diagnoses for the benefit of the therapist and to review my medication to ensure the right combination.
As I have done so many times before I provided a summary of my life and the medication I was taking. He seemed confused as to why I was there so I explained that the CMHT had provided inadequate follow up support, then having reached breaking point my family had used savings to send me to a private hospital and after a short stay I was to begin private therapy to tackle my problems.
At this point the psychiatrist queried the nature of the therapy I was to receive. Having explained that it would be a mix of several therapies including DBT and CBT he categorically stated that it was not the correct therapy for me and that I needed full DBT. He will be arranging for me to see a colleague who runs an 18 week course in a private hospital near where I live. The catch is that intake is not frequent so I may be getting no help for a while!
He also dismissed, quite firmly, any notion of being my psychiatrist. If I reach crisis point he would have no option but to admit me to the private hospital he is linked to. As this is financially prohibitive for most who are self funding I cannot be under his care. It is a shame, for he is one of only a few people that I have met over the years working in mental healthcare that I am at ease with.
He will be contacting the CMHT to reinstate care under the doctor I was seeing before – the same doctor who gave me my diagnoses of ADHD and BPD. I’m not happy about this as she always seemed uninterested and simply provided a diagnosis without follow up support.
A concern is that the private DBT therapy may yet prove unaffordable. If the outpatient price list I saw for other therapies during my stay at the private hospital is indicative of the cost then the progress made so far, even if in such a convoluted way, in determining the most appropriate treatment could be lost. There is hope though – my father has suggested that the psychiatrist at the CMHT may be able to push for the treatment through the NHS. It’s a big if. The assumptions are that the CMHT will handle my care, that the individual in charge of my care validates the need for DBT, that they push for NHS funded DBT, and that the therapy is then approved.
Beyond DBT I don’t know. I could perhaps return to the therapist I had seen last week. I could see if there was another type of therapy suited for those unable to receive DBT. I could even try counselling. I’m at a loss until I get some answers to all of these questions.
For the last 24 years I have seen countless people with regards to my mental health. I have had all the treatments, medication, therapies and hospital admissions that have been suggested. I have always done that for the simple reason that whilst I consider myself to be of moderate intelligence I don’t know what to do about the problems in my head.
These last few weeks have reminded me just how fruitless that faith is. There has been almost no communication between the healthcare professionals. There has been almost no clear and consistent guidance with regards to the direction I should take. I am pretty much where I was 4 weeks ago. Except now I know that the research my fiancée did suggesting DBT as the right therapy has been confirmed, and I have a much clearer picture of my problems and how monumental the effort will be to change them.
One thing I know with absolute certainty – without the support of my family and my fiancée I would be in the position I was a month ago. Except for the odd call or email I have undertaken they have done everything. Researching therapists and psychiatrists, contacting them, processing paperwork and even getting my prescriptions. I am so lucky.
I wonder then about all the people with no network around them. Those that fall through the cracks with no hope of getting the right help. It’s a sad thought.
So I’m angry that for all the effort me and my network have made we have been met with ineptitude and indifference. I’m confused because if truth be told I’m still not certain if DBT is really what I need or indeed if my diagnoses are accurate. I feel despair, frustration and sadness for 24 years of doing all that I have been told to do and now, in my early forties, I am in the throes of my third breakdown.
I wanted to give up earlier. So very much.
I still have some tattered threads of hope left.
But not much.