You need therapy the queue is 2 months

I’m not sure this is a good idea but then I have a life degree in doing the wrong thing!

Firstly let me stress that all the people within the NHS system that I have spoken to or seen face to face are amazing, the NHS Mental Health system doesn’t just let us (the ill) down it lets their staff down also.

Of course there is more to this story prior to August but I think that is a good place to start.

In August I was in a meeting with a counselor and she took a phone call it was my GP advising he thought I should be referred to a psychiatrist, she agreed and I was referred. I received my first letter from the “Early Access Service” dated 23rd August advising I would be seeing a Doctor on the 29th October. I then received another letter dated 4th September advising my appointment had been brought forward to the 27th September to see a different Doctor, I thought great they must of realised a 2 month wait was ridiculous. Then I received another letter dated 18th September advising my appointment had changed again to the 1st October, I thought oh well it’s still better than the original date so ok. What I didn’t notice until just before the 1st October the letter no longer advised I was seeing a Doctor I was now seeing a Mental Health Clinician.

At the end of the 2 hour assessment the Mental Health Clinician advised he would refer me to see a psychiatrist a medic and some therapy possibly CBT this decision is exactly what my counselor and GP had decided in August! I have no issue with the guy who was now making this decision he was like all the other people I have met in the system very professional and very caring. I will add at this point that the first counselor I saw back in June was also a Mental Health Clinician so it had taken 4 or 5 months to come to a conclusion we all knew back in June.

The day after my appointment on the 1st October I saw my counselor she advised the point of the referral was to see a psychiatrist and a medic she seemed very surprised I had been seen by a mental health clinician. Diplomatically she said It may of been they were trying to get through the back log they had so rather than me seeing a psychiatrist and medic I saw a mental health clinician in the meantime. My belief was this was just a case of being taken off one list and put on to another.

My counselor advised she would contact the hospital and see what was going on. She contacted me the next day and advised I would be receiving a letter saying I was to see a psychiatrist in November and I would also be hearing from elsewhere about therapy, possibly CBT. I was now on my way to being in Secondary care rather than Primary care. Having not received a letter on the 15th October I sent a text to my counselor (who I was no longer seeing because I had now been passed onto secondary care. There appears to be a No Mans Land between primary and secondary care which isn’t helpful) she called me back later that day to advise my appointment would be the 27th November and a letter was sitting on someones desk, they hadn’t had chance to post it out but it would be sent today. My counselor was brilliant, like everyone else I have met and spoken to.

Also on the 15th October I went back to see my GP, he extended my doctors note for another month and increased my medication from 100 to 150mg’s, he spoke about doing this a couple of weeks before, but didn’t want to do it then as I was soon to see the psychiatrist at the end of September and they would make a judgement on my medication at that point (lol).

Just as an aside because my GP had increased the dosage I had to spend another £7.85 for the extra 50mg, having spent £7.85 at the weekend for the 100mg. £15.70 is not a huge amount of money but it equates to 4.3% on that months SSP income of £364.00.

During my appointment with my GP on the 15th October I told him that on Sunday the 13th October I have made the decision to kill myself, I had been having a lie down because the buzzing in my head was driving me mad. I got out of bed and got dressed to go out and throw myself off a car park. This is not a nice subject but it is a fact I have suicidal thoughts all the time but they are just thoughts, this time it was different I had specifically gone out to get it done, but first I had to go and say goodbye to my cats. Spending a little time with the cats calmed me down. I know suicide is not the answer “it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and I am pretty sure I wouldn’t actually be able to do it but at that point when I left to see the cats it was a horrible scary real plan.

On the 18th October I received a phone call from a local mental health centre, they had received a fax from my GP advising he was concerned about me, again good people within the system doing good things, we spoke for about 40 minutes and during this time I was given a “crisis” number to call. The only time I had used a “crisis” number before unfortunately I called it during the day and it only operates after 5pm so my mistake. I was given another number to call so called it but I couldn’t speak to anyone there because I wasn’t known to them, they gave me another number, I called this number to be entirely honest I cant remember what happened with this number but it was either voice mail, engaged or unanswered, not very helpful!! But this time I had been given a number to call at any time by a very helpful very caring person so I felt good about this number.

On the 25th October I was in a state, feeling really unwell and desperate so I called the number I had been given. I got an automated message advising “the mailbox is full and you cannot leave a message” I don’t think there is a person out there that will think this is acceptable?

On the 21st October I had made a complaint to the Early Access Service Team, in fairness to them they initially responded very promptly, I was advised that someone would call me to discuss the situation. I declined this call and pointed out I wasn’t well enough to receive a call and felt that they knew this and that’s why they wanted to call me because they would be able to walk all over me (probably unfair to think this but that is what my thoughts were at the time). They responded by advising they understood and would write to me. I received their letter on the 11th November, the letter was dated 24th October and the envelope (which I have kept) is date marked 8th November, it would appear it took 2 weeks to post the letter to me!! There is another little story here that I will skip for now, I have written another complaint email and have been advised it is being processed as a “formal complaint”.

Unfortunately this “formal complaint” doesn’t end there, sorry!!

On the 28th October I received a letter from Therapeutic Recovery Services advising me to call them to arrange an assessment for possible further interventions. I called the number on the letter on Tuesday the 29th October, you can only call them Tuesday to Thursday between 8:30am and 12 noon and the letter advises to speak to a specific person. The phone was answered and I asked for the specific person and was advised “I don’t think “name” works here with us”. I couldn’t handle that, a well person would of been able to challenge that response by explaining the letter they had in their hand but at that point I couldn’t. I tried the number another seven times over the next 2 days and it was always engaged. I had now missed that weeks window to call.

On the 5th November I called the number again and asked for the specific person the answer I got was “”name” doesn’t work here”. This time I had more about me, anger, and explained the letter I had. I was advised the specific person worked elsewhere and was given the correct phone number. So I called the new number I now had, there are details in this phone call that for now I don’t want to include, but the basic details being the letter had been sent out by someone else on the wrong letter heading with the wrong number on. Yes, a very basic mistake that anyone could make but on top of everything else not very helpful and indeed a hindrance to my mental health. The outcome of this phone call was I now had an appointment for an assessment on the 11th November. The person I did speak with, eventually, was fantastic very helpful and I received the letter the next day.

11th November I went to my assessment, the lady I saw was brilliant. These people are very good at what they do she managed to get me to talk about things I hadn’t talked about before and realise things I hadn’t thought of before and this is within an hours assessment. Another fantastic professional within a pathetic, not fit for purpose system. We discussed various therapy options and at the end of the assessment she advised she would write to me and recommend I had a certain type of therapy which I was happy about. I then asked “what is the waiting list time” and was told it would probably start in January……. hence the title of this post “You need therapy the queue is 2 months”.

I have complained again, I don’t like complaining and it probably sounds pathetic but it is very difficult to write complaints and make phone calls when not well. i started this post at about 10:30 this morning and it is now 15:36. I don’t want to jump any queues, in fact my Dad has offered to pay for a private psychiatrist appointment, but I believe I have to see this through. This may be me being delusional but I want to do all I can to ensure other people receive better treatment in the future.

The government want people off benefits and in work, I have a job but I am signed off and my SSP runs out at the end of this year at which point I will have to claim for ESA. I don’t want to be on benefits but another one of the governments “systems” is ensuring I will be on benefits for a while.

Thank you for sticking with this post, i’m sorry it goes on and on but I will end it with a simple question…….

Is the above acceptable?

Keep smiling 🙂

 

“I feel stupid tho :(“

Someone dropped me a message on Facebook the other day and we they spoke about the fact that they had been feeling really down and were going to see the doctor. I said they should be completely honest with their doctor about how they feel and don’t hold anything back, there response was: –

I feel stupid tho 🙁

I think this is an important point, depression / mental illness is stupid, it makes no sense to me. With a physical illness I guess you can feel the pain or see something wrong with mental illness, in theory, you cant. I say in theory because I think people with mental illness can sometimes see it in others. I was watching #bedlam last week and there was a guy on there who was being allowed to leave the triage unit to go home, I tweeted: –

I think you could see it in Dominic’s eyes he wasn’t right to be discharged #bedlam

He was back in very quickly and when later discharged again attempted suicide.

Anyway that’s not the point of this post, “I feel stupid tho :(” is. It is very difficult to explain what you feel and what you think when you are depressed, you hear yourself saying the words and think “what the hell am I on about??”.

Sometimes I agree with myself and sometimes I don’t, sometimes I think I am unwell other times I wonder am I just lazy and thick, sometimes I wish I was dead sometimes I think I have something to live for, sometimes I want to go out and do stuff but when I am out I feel everyone is looking at me thinking “look at that nutter”, sometimes I talk to random people in the street,  I did this today in a car park I was wearing sunglasses and sporting a ridiculous “chopper” style mustache, i’m pretty sure they thought I was a nutter!, sometimes I despair at people saying “snap out of it” sometimes I say this to myself along with “pull yourself together” but as hard as I try I can’t, sometimes I think I hear voices sometimes I know it’s just my thoughts, sometimes I think people hate me sometimes I think people love me, sometimes I can concentrate sometimes I can’t, sometimes I feel normal sometimes I don’t, sometimes I think lets kick off and get arrested fortunately I realise that isn’t a good idea!, sometimes I think i’m going to London to chain myself to Downing Street gates again fortunately I realise at this point I am a nutter, and so on……..

In October the New Scientist magazine had on it’s front page “The more we probe the brain, the less we understand it”, I read a book called “Depressive Illness The Curse of the Strong by Dr Tim Cantopher” he wrote something along the lines of “we don’t understand it anywhere as near as much as we should, in fact the more we learn the more we realise we don’t know”. I think these two separate sentences are very interesting, but then i’m mad so who cares what I think.

I understand why people with mental illness have been labelled mad, I don’t mind the word mad it is very descriptive, sometimes the only way I can describe what is going on in my head is “it feels like i’m going mad”. People who haven’t experienced depression don’t understand it they think it’s mad, made up, in our minds, they are not alone. I was diagnosed with depression over 20 years ago, I have experienced it and I still think it’s mad, I don’t understand it sometimes it makes me cry sometimes it makes me laugh sometimes I think i’m bonkers sometimes I think i’m chosen sometimes I think i’m ill and sometimes i just cant think at all.

I am talking about it all but still “I feel stupid tho :(“.

We have to do away with the #stigma about mental illness, chances are you will feel stupid talking about your feelings and whats going on in your head and body but you wont be alone, I talk about “the buzzing in my head” and the other day I got a message saying someone else has used this exact phrase. The more we talk the more we can fight together rather than suffering alone.

Keep Smiling 🙂

Booze and Depression

Ok, first of all I will stress that these are only my opinions and experiences.

For me I think my depression and alcoholism run hand in hand, like a lot of people I started drinking “down the tip” at about 14, cider, thunderbirds, something I think was called Scotsmac and I remember one particular bad decision one night to get pissed on QC Sherry (still can’t smell the stuff without feeling sick!). I don’t really remember when it got out of hand, probably from day one. When I went to Cavos with the lads when I was about 19 I had the temporary nickname of Olly Reed, to be fair I think another one of the guys was Keith Chegwin and there was another one tagged with an alcoholics name, I cant remember what that one was, probably George Best.

It is fair to say a lot of booze was drunk on that holiday and to be honest every time we went out. All the lads were drinkers, but if i’m honest I think I was different because I was the one getting the “Drunk and Disorderley’s”. The first time I was arrested was for trying to steal a policeman’s hat outside a local pub. I was later to be banned indefinitely from that pub and the next time I went in, while the land lord was on holiday, I got the shit beaten out of me. I don’t remember the beating at all, it involved 3 people from what I have been told one of them “karate chopped” me in the throat and then a fat C**t sat on my chest and beat me unconscious, which lead to all my front teeth having to be capped. There are many other stories that still to this day cause me a lot of shame, but I think the above is enough to demonstrate it was out of hand.Roblox Robux Hack 2017

I think I knew by the age of 20 I was an alcoholic it took me 10 years before I went into the booze clinic to do something seriously about it. I class that as 10 wasted years.

So why do I say booze and depression run hand in hand. I remember being a very shy kid, to the point that if I was washing my dads car on the drive and people were walking up the road I would hide. At 14 booze gave me some confidence, by 18 I was on antidepressants and by 20 I knew I was an alcoholic. Of course I may have suffered with depression even if I wasn’t an alcoholic but I feel the abuse of alcohol made things worse. Yes I dealt with the booze issue 10 years ago but I then just plodded on with life and the depression. Now I am 40 and have had what I can only describe as a mental breakdown, I don’t think the doctors use that term anymore but that’s the only way I can describe it. 10 years on from sorting out the booze issue I am “clinically depressed” with people using phrases like “disability”, “Mental Illness”, “Mental Health” (which I find very scary!!). I am waiting to see a psychiatrist (a very long wait but that’s a story for a different time!!!), waiting to see about other types of therapy, I have people from mental institutions calling me to give me “crisis numbers”, I am speaking with mental health charities. Its fair to say life is not a lot of fun at the moment and I class this 10 years after the booze clinic as another 10 wasted years.

During the 10 years from 20 to 30 I did things like not drinking for a couple of weeks to prove I wasn’t an alcoholic, but this is bull***t, all that does is it gets people off your back for a short while. All through the time I wasn’t drinking I knew I would be able to drink again soon. I also knew I would have to be cleverer and drink a bit when no-one was watching, try and behave a little better, it’s all bollox. It is said you have to hit “Rock Bottom” before you get off the booze, this is probably true, but let me tell you if you know you are an alcoholic “Rock Bottom” is fu**ing horrendous do something about it before you get there!!! They also say “you have to want to give up” i’m not sure that is true, I didn’t want to give up, yes life was hard at the end but the bad bits disappear when you are pissed off your box, there is no better feeling than being completely out of it. Booze owned me there was nothing more important to me than booze, nothing!!

I believe the reason I am where I am now it because I plodded along, yes I had accepted the depression, I had accepted life was miserable. I kept fighting it getting more and more tired, struggling harder each day to get out of bed and getting on with it, putting on my “Jon” mask every morning over and over again and eventually something just exploded in my head, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I believe if I had been more direct with my doctor and asked for more help sooner I would still be doing the job I love.

Please don’t let booze and depression begin to own you because when it does it will f**k you up!! You can give up the booze even if you love it as much as I did, I still miss it. From what I read now on Twitter and Facebook and plenty of other websites you can still have a great life with a mental illness but if you let it own you life will seem pointless, don’t get to the stage that you purposely get out of bed and get dressed for the sole reason to go and say goodbye to the cats before you throw yourself of a car park.

Get some help, help on the NHS will be hard and slow to get and the “system” will drive you mad, but keep going. When you are thinking its never going to get better it will seem real, it seemed real for me a couple of months ago. Now is still horrible for me I had to leave my brothers bonfire party earlier tonight I walked up the road in tears, but I do know I will come out the other side sooner or later.

Keep smiling 🙂

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-47484364-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Thoughts and feelings

This could go on for a while and probably make little sense???

It is my guess that people who know me will be surprised at some of this stuff. Recently the same person has said to me twice “you don’t looked depressed”. The guy who said it meant no harm by it, in fact I think he meant it as a sort of compliment but it does make me think. “What does someone with depression / mental illness look like?”

I was diagnosed with depression when I was about 18, I think initially I was embarrassed and ashamed for having depression but for a long time now I have been open about depression and my alcoholism. I think I hoped being open might help other people and also take the pressure of me.

I say I have been open but only on the surface, what I mean by this is I could be having a laugh and a joke with you at work but inside I hated myself. One guy fairly recently at work said to me “I’ve never met anyone who slates themselves as much as you do” we laughed it off but I knew this was the real me coming to the surface fighting with the “Jon” who people see. There is a lot of acting when you are depressed and it is very tiring being something you are not on the outside and something your are on the inside. It is a huge battle and I think finally this battle destroyed me. Now I can act like “Jon” for only very small periods of time before it makes me feel like i’m going mad.

My uncle John used to say when he was really down “that the way we saw him at that moment was the truth and that everything else is play acting”. I am sure there will be a lot of people that understand this.

I accepted my depression a long time ago, I accepted that I would probably have to take pills for the rest of my life and I tried to keep going, I accepted that on the outside life looked good but on the inside life was f**king miserable and pointless. I had my ups and downs and always got over the downs. That is until June this year I couldn’t fight it anymore I had now had a down that I couldn’t beat. The silly thing is that it was something very small that pushed me over the edge, my company car had a light bulb out and a tyre that needed changing, all I had to do was make a phone call and drive down the road from work about 2 miles and get it done,  but it just blew my mind!!!!!

I’ve gone on more than I had planned so I am going to finish with a list of thoughts and feelings: –Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

  • Suicidal Thoughts – They are real and they are painful!
  • Buzzing in the head that leads to crippling lows that make me unable to move
  • Child like, Unmanly, no control
  • Useless, pathetic, pointless, waste of a life, waste of a human being
  • Very poor concentration
  • Very poor motivation
  • Things I used to enjoy no longer interest me
  • Everything I do is crap – In July/August my camera pretty much kept me sane, I cant pick it up now because every picture I take is crap and I don’t understand the settings and how to fix problems.
  • Very little energy – a month a go I could only do 8 press ups :(, I started doing them on a regular basis and got up to being able to do 25 :). I haven’t done any for a couple of weeks because I just cant find the energy or motivation to do them, pathetic!!
  • A thousand thoughts running through my head but I don’t know what any of them are and I cant control them
  • “Normal” life is over
  • I want to be in hospital
  • I’m never going to have another meaningful relationship
  • Do I hear voices or are they just my thoughts?

I cant think of anymore at the moment, it has taken over an hour and a half to write this and my concentration has gone!! I hope some of this makes sense, I am now fighting the “this is sh*t thoughts, just delete it, no-one is interested” but if it is sh*t who cares its just my thoughts as they are now, tomorrow they will probably be different anyway.

Please feel free to leave a comment and even subscribe to get updates when I post something new.

Keep Smiling 🙂

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-47484364-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

A bit about booze

As the title of the blog suggests booze has played a part in my life, although it does’t now on a physical basis it definitely still does on a mental basis!! I still miss booze a lot, but I know I cant handle it. We will speak about booze a lot as we move forward, if you have read the “About Me” page you will know I was fortunate enough to be in BUPA through a company I worked for for many years.

I spent a month in The Woodbourne Priory, so basically for an excess of about £250 I received £15000 worth of residential treatment, mainly group therapy. A lot of the therapy was based around “The 12 Steps”, I struggled a lot with these steps for reasons that don’t really matter at the moment but eventually I got Step 1: –

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable

Step 1 for me is very important, I miss alcohol, I love alcohol but I cannot go back there.

I don’t know if my abuse of booze is why I am now labelled with “Clinical Depression” don’t get me wrong I am happy to be labelled as it makes sense of so much. I think this is an important point, I have been soba for 10 years and I feel if I went back to booze it would destroy me, one phrase I got from AA is “I have another drink in me but I don’t have another recovery in me”. With this in mind a few months ago when I was changing my medication from Cipralex to Sertraline I was a complete mess and wanted to die and this thought came into my head “Start drinking it will ease the pain and it will give you the strength to kill yourself”.

I’m going to leave it there, but please you HAVE to know if you want to give up booze IT IS POSSIBLE, it’s painful but it is possible.

Intro Post

Hi, check out the “About Me” page for a little about me. I thought I would start with some sort of disclaimers: –

1. I will contradict myself, if you suffer with mental illness I assume your thoughts and feelings change on a regular basis as well?

2. Everything I post will be honest, some things you may find disagreeable, that’s cool we can’t agree on everything, sometimes I don’t agree with myself!!

3. I am currently coming out (slowly) of a horrendous episode of depression, I think for the first time (I could be wrong?) the phrase Clinical Depression is being used, so obviously everything I do is crap, I am a waste of space, and I have had lots of suicidal thoughts.

I may have to add to these disclaimers later on because I can’t remember the others I had thought of (memory and concentration do not exist at the moment and every time I try to write thoughts down they make no sense, again if you suffer with a mental illness I assume you know exactly what I am saying?)

I think the last paragraph sums up why I decided to do a blog, to help me and hopefully to help others. For me “is what I am experiencing the same as others?” and For others “that guy thinks the same as me” (I hope so anyway).

I’ve just remembered another disclaimer: –

4. I will be using “politically incorrect” words like “Bonkers”, “Mad”, “Loony”, I mean no offence this is how I deal with it (right or wrong!!). For years I have called my antidepressants “Loony pills” have considered myself “Bonkers” and refer to myself as “As mad as a box of frogs”. I know people will disagree but I personally think we should use words that others use, to take back the words that are used to hurt us. Stigma is a big discussion point and so it should be, there shouldn’t be a Stigma about Mental Illness, it’s just an illness. Personally I have a Stigma against myself for my Mental Illness (not sure that sentence makes sense??) I fight daily with the turmoil in my head “am I ill or am I just lazy and pathetic?”

I think that will do for now, I hope you managed not to get bored I do tend to talk a lot of bollox, soz.