Once again I want to apologise for not posting much on here. As I mentioned in the previous post, my mental health has been getting worse. There are quite a few reasons for this which I will try to explain in the following posts.
I guess the first thing I should bring up is my experience of the mental health services.
You may recall from a previous post that in 2014 I had seen a therapist from the local CMHT (community mental health team) who would only deal with my OCD. He wasn’t interested in the other issues causing me issues with my mental health. All he would offer was CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
Back in March 2016, I went to see my GP to discuss my mental health problems (not OCD) and to see if there would be any help available. The GP was reluctant at first to refer me back to the CMHT via something called SPA (singe point of access). After a few different telephone calls, he agreed to send a referral to SPA so that I could be seen and assessed by the CMHT.
In May, I was offered an appointment with another therapist under the adult psychological therapy service (APTS) to discuss my issues. The therapist was actually quite good and listened to things I had to say regarding my non-OCD issues. I had about 3 or 4 appointments with him and he did help me to understand some things about myself.
Unfortunately, as he was only a therapist, he was unable to diagnose anything or give any possible diagnoses.
On my last appointment with him in June 2016, he asked me to fill out a questionnaire. This questionnaire was different from the usual ones they ask you to do at the start of the sessions. This questionnaire was to identify possible autism, aspergers syndrome or another autistic spectrum disorder. When going through the questionnaire answers with the therapist, he gave me a score and a result.
The results did show that there was a possibility that I could have autism or another spectrum disorder as I scored quite highly. However, as stated above, he was unable to offer anything concrete as he is not qualified to diagnose.
His recommendation was that I should be referred to the adult autism services for further assessment and he would write to the GP.
However, this would not be simple as my local area did not have any services in place for adult autism assessments at that time. This would have meant having to be referred out of area to the nearest assessment centre which would have cost the local NHS trust more and a special request for funding would have had to have been made.
So, I found out later on (after seeing my medical records) that the recommendation to be referred to adult autism services was never put on my file, nor was it written down on the letter from the therapist to the GP.
A few months later I decided to contact the GP again regarding my mental health issues. Once again, the GP seemed reluctant to refer me to anywhere for assessment. I managed to get referred back to the CMHT via SPA and was sent an appointment letter a few weeks later.
The appointment was for an initial telephone call to discuss my issues.
Once this telephone call had been completed, they told me they would discuss what steps to take and contact me via letter.
I was then sent an appointment letter which stated the appointment would take place at my flat due to what had been discussed in the telephone call.
Unfortunately, I had to contact them and ask if I could move the appointment to somewhere other than my home (due to the OCD issues and not allowing people into my flat).
The appointment was changed to where the CMHT were based which was better for me.
The day before the appointment, the person who was going to carry out the assessment called me to tell me there had been a change of plans. Unfortunately he was not going to be available that day but one of his colleagues would be doing the assessment instead. The appointment location hadn’t changed and would still be at their offices.
The day of the assessment arrived and it was snowing. I set off in good time to get to the location due to the weather, even though I knew where the hospital was.
It had been arranged that the person doing the assessment would meet me at the reception as I had never been there before and it was quite a large building.
I had the assessment and that was it. The person doing the assessment said that he would put a recommendation forward to have some sort of therapy (day therapy, possibly a group one) and I would get a letter soon.
After a few weeks I get a letter asking me to go to a follow up appointment at a new location (the CMHT were moving into a new building and all services would be under one roof).
I attended the appointment and talked to the 2 people there. It was at this point that they recommended that I should see the psychology team to do some further digging into my past to see if there might be an explanation for my mental health issues. They would arrange a referral. They also agreed that at that time, it wouldn’t be right for me to be placed into therapy until further information had been discussed.
I then was given an appointment with the psychology department about 6 weeks or so later (February 2017). During the appointment I explained that I wanted to see a psychiatrist so that I could at least get some kind of diagnosis. They agreed to this and so the appointment ended.
About 2 months later I received a letter saying that an appointment had been scheduled for me to see a psychiatrist. I thought it was about time but the appointment was still 6 weeks away (May 2017).
The psychiatry appointment lasted about 40 minutes and not much was discussed. At the end of the session, the psychiatrist mentioned BPD or EUPD traits and that was it. Nothing else was said or suggested. Autism was mentioned but no referrals were suggested. It was suggested that I chase up an autism assessment with the GP.
No further psychiatry appointments were offered and I had been told that I would be referred back to the psychology department after that appointment but I heard nothing, nor was I given anything to suggest that it would happen (no letters, no recommendations or even leaflets).
After a few days, I contacted the CMHT to find out what was happening and whether or not I was going to be referred back to the psychology department. There were no notes on the system at that time so they had to call me back.
I then got a phone call from the person who had done the assessment on me and he stated that I should have been referred back to psychology but it hadn’t been done. If I wanted to be referred back I would have to speak to the GP again and arrange it. I had been discharged from all services under the mental health team.
To be honest, at that point I had given up wanting to even try talking to my GP or even trying to get referred anywhere.
I really felt like each department was passing the buck and not actually wanting to do anything to help me.
I have not had any contact with the CMHT or my GP since May 2017 (except for a few minor physical issues). I did request all the medical records from them though but most of the things contained within the files are just the same letters and referrals which are on my general medical records (I will mention the reason why I asked for my patient records in my next post).
There are some hand written notes contained in the files but I can’t read or understand them.
To be completely honest, I’m not sure if the diagnosis of BPD/EUPD is actually confirmed or not. I know the OCD is documented and mentioned on my files, as is depression but I have never had a straight answer when it comes to BPD or any other diagnoses.
I’m sorry I rambled on a bit and that this post is a long one but I needed to get this out there. I hope that I will be back very soon to continue talking about the last 18 months and my experiences in that time (some good, some bad, some positive and some negative).
Thanks for reading.