For years now I’ve been diagnosed with mental health disorders.
Bi-polar, depression and the latest, bio-chemical depression, just 2 months ago.
The NHS is running out of meds for me to try, the latest being Mirtazapine, after 3 months on Duloxetine.
I’ve forgotten the names of most of the pills I’ve popped.
My problem stems from my strokes in my mid 30’s, not some chemical imbalance, so it’s hard for my consultant (who has only ever spoken to me by phone and never seen me face to face) to actually know what he’s up against, and until someone somewhere figure out how to rewire my brain and put back the bits that are missing, talking to someone isn’t going to really help.
I’ve seen his staff.
Despite being seen by one Dr and told that I’d only ever seen them, on my next visit, they were away and I was seen by a totally new Dr, who had only had chance to spend 20 minutes looking at my notes before seeing me.
So much for continuity.
Problem is, when the pills stop working after X period of time, and I start to sink into depression, I have to undergo months of swapping pills, not sleeping right and wanting to kill myself.
I have asked on 2 occasions to be referred for ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy), only to be told I don’t know what I’m talking about, and despite my going away and investigating it’s pluses and minuses, and deciding that the positives outweigh the negatives, for me at least, I’m still treat like someone who hasn’t a clue what he’s doing.
I appreciate that the majority of patients on the NHS may not be as well educated as I am, nor as able to educate themselves on what medications they are given or treatments offered to them. but to be told have sex and travel (in the politest way possible though) is an awful feeling.
I’m now into week two of the Mirtazapine, another week of 1/2 strength sleeping pills and I’m due to start a new job in 10 days time!
I really want to jump off a high building, walk under a bus, OD on something, anything, just to stop feeling this way.
Yet, I’ll carry on popping the pills until I’m due to see my shrink in October, hope they actually work and then ask again for ECT if they are not.
I wont be taking no for an answer this time though…
Any desire by my consultant to ignore my wishes will see me asking for him to be replaced.
How many times can a medical expert ignore the wishes of his patient, if that patient probably at this point knows more about the asked for treatment than they do?
Talking therapy has never helped me.
I’ve tried it, and never had any discernible benefit from it.
Its also the reason the pills stop working after a period.
So, here I am, about to start a new job, struggling to keep myself alive, worrying about my future, and desperate not to tip myself over the edge.
That leads me onto another thing.
I don’t care who tells you things are better out there in the real world then they used to be, You go for a job, admit you have mental health problems, they pass you over like a jumbo in mid flight.
As it is, I have a wife who appears to have resigned herself to my being about as much use as an ashtray on a moped.
Without her and my children, I’d have been dead long ago.
Why am I struggling?
Its because my meds haven’t kicked in properly yet, but I’m still taking them.
I’ll keep trying because I don’t want to feel like shit every day.
My hope is that one day there will be something that they can do to stop this cycle from happening, as I don’t want to carry on like this until I do drop dead.
I also hope that one day I’ll find a mental health consultant who isn’t so happy to dismiss his patient out of hand when he suggests a treatment.
Yes, mental health on the NHS is underfunded and understaffed, but all I’m asking for is a little thought before being shunted from Dr to Dr.
Is it worth my asking for a change of consultant?
I really don’t want to kill myself, but sometimes I feel like I’ve no other option if I actually want to be listened to, but by then, it’ll be too late.