Last Wednesday I was very ill, I couldn’t stop crying and I wanted to die.
My husband phoned the mental health team and was passed around a few numbers with no one quite willing to take responsibility for me, until someone said the best thing to do would be to present to A&E.
He drove me to the local hospital and I was seen quite quickly by two psychiatric nurses.
Through tears I explained how low and suicidal I felt and the diagnosis of bipolar type II that I had.
They assessed me and decided to refer me to the Home Based Treatment team where daily home visits from psychiatric nurses monitor you to see how you are and I had an appointment on Monday to see a psychiatrist.
Now, while I am still pretty ill I do want to raise the issues that the above has brought to light. Anyone reading this blog has known that I haven’t been in a great place for a long time and I have regularly asked my GP to be referred to see a psychiatrist but I have been told that it would be 18 weeks before I would see one.
During this waiting time I have steadily got worse and worse to the point where I have become suicidal and had to present to A and E.
Therein is the problem with the mental health services in this area. I have had to hit rock bottom and come to the dangerous edge of my sanity before being treated.
I am very lucky in that I live at home and have people to support me. Other people are not so lucky.
Now I am having daily visits from a psychiatric nurse to assess how safe I am and my medication is finally being changed after a visit with the psychiatrist yesterday.
It hasn’t cured me over night. I still feel awful and the only reason I am able to write today is that instead of feeling rock bottom I feel flat. Instead of low I feel a nothingness, still infected with anxiety and uncertainty but enough of a flatness to let me sit up and write.
What is ridiculous though is there is no help for before you crack and nearly die. There is nothing to stop you falling over the edge.
Vice have an article where other people express the same concerns. There is not enough funding within the NHS mental health services to help people until it becomes very close to too late. They raised this issue two years ago in an article they published in 2014 and the problems have not changed.
Please don’t forget if you are having your own crisis that there are charities that can help, and to keep going back to your GP. Tell someone how you feel so they can help you harass the right people and you can get the help you need.