I’ve posted loads over the last however many months about my mental health; I apologise as some of it is a little mashed up but that’s just the way mental illness is.
My GP has been treating me for depression for years and now I have been referred to a secondary service(again) I’ve received a diagnosis of sorts.
I’m not one for labels but it is kind of a relief to be taken seriously and to have a name for the mental health issues I encounter.
The first is severe depression which I knew I had – it’s very hard to explain as my depressive episodes come and go. The main concern seems to be anxiety, which is crippling me every single day. I always thought it was a by product of the depression but it seems to be completely the opposite – I have depressive episodes when the anxiety gets so bad it plunges me into a bad place. The other thing they have confirmed is OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and this comes off the back of the anxiety and also contributes to depression. PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder) seems to be a factor too, but one they haven’t yet got to the root of – it seems the birth trauma triggered a worsening of the above but they aren’t sure how much of an issue for me it is.
Sounds great doesn’t it – finally I have a provisional diagnosis and I should get treatment.
Although my symptoms are severe, maternal mental health is hugely underfunded and not understood at all, so because I tell the people who assess me that while I have fleeting thoughts of harming myself, I would never do it because I have to be a mum and I love my son too much to leave him.
If I didn’t have my little man it doesn’t bear thinking about where I would be. He is my everything and I would never leave him.
Because I am not considered a risk to myself or others, I don’t tick those shit little boxes that would enable me to get the help, support and treatment I so desperately need.
Two weeks ago I met with a health visitor and she was amazing – she referred me to the secondary service and put me in touch with people who might be able to help, and explained the current mental health system within the NHS and said that she would refer me on and insist I was seen.
But they told me I didn’t fit the criteria and to call back if I felt like killing myself.
She returned this week and was disgusted that I had been refused; she has suggested I make a complaint and that I have to persist until my voice is heard and I get the help I need.
I fully appreciate that there are people far, far worse than me and who need the help more than I do – but I have ‘stepped aside’ for others for three years now and my symptoms are worsening.
Mentally I’m in a terrible state and my mental health is affecting my life every minute of every day.
So this morning I sent off a complaint to the secondary mental health service and I have started making enquiries with private psychiatrists – I can’t see any other way to get the help I so desperately need.
How do I feel writing this? Well I feel kind of empowered – I want to fight for my right to the treatment I need and deserve. But at the same time I’m so tired and soul destroyed – I want so badly to be the person I once was – shy yet confident and the least stressed person ever known to man.
Can I get my voice heard? Watch this space.