Thursday, 25 February 2016


If there's one thing that we're really lacking when it comes to Mental Illness (and honestly - there's a whole range of things, but we're just going to settle on this one) it's tolerance. I know there's post upon post about how hard it is to find tolerance from the media, from family members who don't quite understand, from education systems and friends and a workplaces - and are all these are awful. However, in the time that I've been ill, but far the worst lack of tolerance that I've come up against was that shown by a medical professional.

Shortly after I finally told my girlfriend and family about how bad things had gotten with my illness back in October, we rung the crisis team who suggested we either go to A&E or head to my doctors in the morning for an urgent mental health assessment and, given that I was surrounded by my safety net and finally slightly calmer after hours of sobbing, I decided that all I wanted to do was sleep and so I opted for the latter. So, in the morning I head to my doctors and, irregardless of the fact that it was clearly written on my record that I was attending an urgent mental health assessment, met with one of the rudest, least helpful doctors that I've ever had to cross paths with.

I was asked whether I really thought that I needed to take time off of work, I was given new anti-depressants with very little say in the matter - she didn't take the time to talk me through my new medication, or what to expect or when to come back. She was condescending, talked over me, talked to Katy as though I was a child and consistently referred to Katy as my "friend" irregardless of the fact that I had introduced her as my partner. It wasn't only this attitude that was poor - I was told that between now and my access team referral (which was given to me as I was struggling so badly) there was nothing that anybody could really do for me, no port of call save a trip to A&E. I was given no helpline information, we were simply given my poorly explained new medication and sent on our way.

The more I read about stories of mental illness and it's sufferers, the more it becomes clear that this isn't an isolated incident. I didn't face a particularly unhelpful doctor, I wasn't just unlucky - the attitude of the NHS on the whole needs to be improved. My access team, an outside party, sat and talked with me until I was calmer, helped with coping mechanisms and gave me a place to turn - whereas the NHS turned me away with an attitude of frustration as they didn't seem to think that as I was a mental health patient I was in any way their responsibility. In reality - we all talk about a stigma existing in society but I struggle to see how it's going to be broken until the NHS start realising that, in the same way as if I came to them with tonsillitis, they need to have experts on hand that can help with my illness.

I'm not trying to put you off going to your doctor if you're ill - it took a few poor shots, but I managed to hit on a doctor who is helpful, patient and kind and I feel like I've managed to make more strides than I would have thought possible - but on the whole, the majority of the NHS needs to realise that nobody will take mental illness seriously until GP's really start to.

Have you had any really positive points of call when it comes to mental illness?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Mental Health - Frustration

No comments:

Post a comment